It occurs to me that great leaders build trust with others over many years and in many ways. When storms come, which they invetibly do, then relational equity can be spent. Wise leaders know how to build their base, invest in others, propel their partners forward.
Selfish, egotistical leaders use others for their own purposes.
An example of spending relational equity in the face of a firestorm is what Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, has experienced while handling the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson cases. The WSJ reports, “But no owner has broken ranks and joined them (critics asking for a resignation). Inside the small, elite circle of owners, nothing much changed. That is because, in a job in which you work for owners, no one has worked for owners better than Goodell.”
This is not a commentary on how or what he should do with these cases, but rather the support he’s offered while working through the difficulties. Great fear can creep into any organization when leaders don’t process conflict well. As anxiety rises, temperatures drop, relationships freeze, communication stops and cooperation slows to a trickle.
Effective leaders raise the temperature of the organization by building trust through actions and attitudes and words that demonstrate a commitment to health of the organization. What can you do today to invest in the lives of the leaders who share the load with you? How will you build trust gradually over time? What are the ways that count in your organization?