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Trust & Inspire Leadership

Trust & Inspire

A COMMAND & CONTROL leadership style comes naturally to us. And we resort to it far more than we think. What has always worked better and is required for successful leadership in this day and age is something Steven M. R. Covey calls Trust & Inspire leadership.

Trust & Inspire leadership is about “trusting people to do the right thing and inspiring them to make meaningful contributions.” Furthermore, it’s about “connecting people to purpose so they feel inspired not only by an organization’s leaders, but also by a sense of purpose, meaning, and contribution in their work.”

When we inspire someone, we breathe life into them. “We rekindle the inner spirit” that so much in life knocks out of us.

As opposed to Command & Control, which is transactional, “Trust & Inspire is transformational—it focuses on building relationships; on developing capabilities; on enabling, empowering, and growing people. And the irony is that not only is this the far more enduring approach, it’s actually the more efficient way [in the long run] to get things done as well.”

Many of the changes we have seen to the Command & Control approach are “changes in degree, not in kind. We’re still operating within the same paradigm.” So just how do we make the shift to Trust and Inspire?

How To Make the Change from Command & Control to Trust & Inspire

The shift to Trust & Inspire is a change in our fundamental beliefs. Those fundamental beliefs are based on the understanding that leadership is stewardship. Stewardship is holding in trust those we lead and applying everything we have been given in the service of that trust. “It’s about leaving something in better shape than when we stepped into our role.”

Covey’s Trust & Inspire framework breaks stewardship down into three stewardships that work together, and build off each other. Developing Trust & Inspire leadership needs to have all three: Modeling, Trusting, and Inspiring.

3 Stewardships Model

Modeling – Who You Are

Modeling is built on the idea that leaders go first and are developed from the inside out. “It is the source of credibility and your moral authority as a leader.”

Trust & Inspire leaders model three things: Humility and Courage—Authenticity and Vulnerability—Empathy and Performance.

Trusting – How You Lead

Do we extend trust to others, or do we withhold it? “Trusting—how we lead—flows out of the fundamental beliefs of greatness being inside people and that our job as a leader is to unleash people’s potential, not control them. We unleash the greatness inside people through trusting them.” Not trusting others makes for an exhausting life.

It is important to clarify expectations and practice accountability. “When you clarify expectations, you create a shared vision and agreement upfront about what is to be done.” And it is a two-way street. We grow people through trusting. “Great leaders grow people, and nothing grows people better—or faster—than an extension of trust.”

Inspiring – Connect to Why

Inspiring others “flows out of the belief that people are whole people—made up of body, heart, and spirit—and that the job of a leader is to inspire others from within rather than merely trying to motivate them from without.”

Trust & Inspire leaders connect people to Purpose—a sense of contribution (why work matters), People—self, relationships (caring), and team (belonging).

Making the Transition

Trust & Inspire is a mindset. It becomes who you are even when in some situations you might have to act with authority. But here’s the thing:

Trust & Inspire leaders have already built credibility and relationships that allow them to act decisively as needed yet with integrity. The difference between a Command & Control leader and a Trust & Inspire leader, even if their actions are exactly the same, is that their behavior is interpreted completely differently, becomes it comes from a different place.

Trust & Inspire is not a hands-off laissez-faire leadership but a very active, committed form of leadership. Making the transition to Trust & Inspire is not easy because it requires a change in fundamentals and beliefs. But the results are worth the effort.

Truat & Inpire Leader

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:51 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Trust



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