FIVE BASIC RELATIONSHIPS AND THE BOTTOM LINE
If you lead a large business organization, it’s likely that the general public doesn’t trust you. The National Leadership Index 2009 found that Americans have below-average confidence in leaders and while those levels are increasing they still remain lower than in years prior to 2008. 69% of all Americans believe we have a leadership crisis in the country today.
Trust can be repaired, but it isn’t easy. Business leaders will have to pay attention to five BASIC traits, each of which contributes to the development of trust, and sustained success.
Beneficial partnerships speak to the leader’s relational capacity to initiate, sustain and grow collaborative partnerships. Leaders must leverage the unique perspectives of the workforce for the welfare and progress of the organization. The Corporate Leadership Council found that failure to build partnerships with peers and subordinates was cited by 82% of survey respondents as one of the primary reasons executives failed in their jobs. In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, nothing less than the collective strength of the organization will suffice.
Aligned emotions refer to the leader’s emotional maturity—the capacity to manage ones own emotional life, including one’s passions, wants and needs. Leaders with Aligned Emotions possess the inner strength to put the interests of others first—a trust building necessity. Overwhelmed by personal needs, whims and excesses, the leader lacking emotional maturity is powerless to act on behalf of the interests of others—a detriment to building trust.
Sustained determination is the inner strength to initiate action in the face of obstacles, to not shrink back in the face of resistance, and to sustain constructive activity in the face of adversity. Leaders with Sustained Determination infuse the organization with a sense of vision and hope. But without it, the organization is likely to be awash in corroding cynicism and paralyzing anxiety.
Intellectual flex-ability is the capacity to see the world accurately with the help of others. Leaders with Intellectual Flex-ability possess an attitude of openness and vulnerability. Lacking Intellectual Flex-ability, the leader’s good intentions may be undermined by thoughtlessness, insensitivity, shortsightedness, or self-centeredness (the assumption that others probably want and like what I want and like).
Character refers to one’s moral integrity. Integrity is the foundation of trust. If leaders cannot be trusted to “to do the right thing;” if they are perceived as operating out of self-interest at the expense of others, trust is eroded.
No business organization can survive let alone successfully compete if it lacks the trust of employees, customers, and stakeholders. A leader’s BASIC traits help to build trust. If the leader can operate within these five BASIC areas, they can build, and regain trust.