Over the years, I have learned that TRUST enhances leadership effectiveness, as much as any other single factor. I believe a leader needs to demonstrate vulnerability to those she leads and serves, which may be counter intuitive to some. Maintaining one’s integrity and closing integrity gaps, large and small, are keys to developing the TRUST factor!
Some years ago, as I reflected on my departure from a congregation that I had served as pastor, I heard God quietly say, “Did you make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace”? (Ephesians 4:3) I became convinced that I needed to write to the current leaders of the congregation to ask forgiveness for my part in a difficult separation. This action resulted in healing for them and me that none of us knew was needed. This was a “big deal” for me and made a big difference in my ability to lead others with integrity today.
Some time ago, I closed a small integrity gap by calling a person that I had failed to call in the previous week, as I had said that I would. I confessed the oversight and we were able to have a fruitful conversation. A very small step made a very large deposit in the TRUST bank of my relationship with this colleague.
How important it is to be a person worth following – “what you see is what you get”! How will trust be built in an organization without integrity and authenticity in the life of a leader? I believe the question answers itself. I agree with Stephen M. R. Covey when he says in SPEED OF TRUST that when trust is high, speed goes up and costs of all kinds go down.
Are you willing to reflect on your level of integrity as you lead? Do you discern integrity gaps that need to be closed? If so, what action are you willing to take? How will you be held accountable? There are no perfect leaders, but one can be a leader who works at maintaining integrity and closes integrity gaps, as they emerge.