Magazine article Talent Development

The Trusted Leader

Magazine article Talent Development

The Trusted Leader

Article excerpt

The defining word for leaders is trust. With trust, there is nothing leaders can't get done; without trust, nothing gets done without lots of pain, cost, and time. I studied leadership researchers (Goleman, Tichy, Kouzes and Posner, Goldsmith, and others) and finally was able to hang their collective research onto a simple, three-part model developed more than 2,500 years ago by Aristotle--the smartest guy ever.

Aristotle said that Greek leaders had to have three critical elements to be trustworthy. We can easily apply his powerful and elegant model to leaders of today. Picture a large triangle. At the base of that triangle, trusted leaders have to have good character; on the next leg of that triangle, good sense; and finally, the last leg, good will.

Good character is composed of what I call the five Cs:

* Candor--Trusted leaders don't lie, cheat, or steal. Honesty has topped American values ever since data was collected about values.

* Communication--Leaders know how to speak and write clearly and don't waffle, waver, or confuse.

* Commitment and consistency--Leaders make you feel like they're there for the duration and are both steady and reliable. Mercurial, career-addicted bosses get the big thumbs down.

* Courage--Trusted leaders do the right thing at the right time for the right reason--not what's politically expedient or career enhancing.

Good sense is composed of the five Ks:

* Know self--Trusted leaders are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses; know-it-all bosses don't know much about leadership. …

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