Poor character is a ticking time bombKSG-admin
Chapter six: The Law of Solid ground. Trust is the foundation of leadership. It is the glue that holds an organization together. Leaders cannot repeatedly break trust with people and continue to influence them. It just does not happen.
Trust is like change in a leader’s pocket. John Maxwell points out that all leaders have a certain amount of change in their pocket when they start in a new leadership position. Good decisions, earn more change while poor decisions, pay out some of the change. Whatever leaders do either builds up their change or depletes it.
One day, after making one last bad decision, they suddenly and irreparably run out of change. At that point it is too late. When you are out of change, you are out as the leader.
How does a leader build trust? According to John, it is by consistently exemplifying competence, connection, and character. People will forgive occasional mistakes based on ability, especially if they can see that you are still growing as a leader; they will even give you some time to connect. But they would not trust someone who has slips in character. At this point, even occasional lapses are lethal. All effective leaders know this truth.
Maxwell further points to the significance of character: “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without strategy.”
Character and leadership credibility always go hand in hand. Anthony Harrigan, president of the US Business and Industrial Council, is on record saying. He explains further that whenever one leads people, it is as if the people consent to take a journey with him. His character will determine the trip; good character verses character that is flawed. Why? Because no one enjoys spending time with someone they do not trust.
Maxwell emphasizes that poor character is like a time bomb ticking away. It is only a matter of time before it blows up a person’s ability and capacity to lead. He quotes Craig Weatherup who once said, you do not build trust by talking about it rather by achieving results, always with integrity and in a manner that shows real personal regard for the people with whom you work.
From this chapter we first get to learn that, when a leader’s character is strong, people trust him, and they believe in his ability to release their potential. Secondly, that a leader’s good character builds trust amongst his followers.
Last but not least, we learn that no leader can break trust with his people and expect to keep influencing them. Trust is the foundation of leadership. Violate the Law of Solid Ground, and you diminish your influence as a leader.
In a nutshell, character makes trust possible. And trust makes leadership possible. That is the Law of Solid Ground.