A great leader is always learning and growing. There is no shortage of resources that will offer advice on how to become a better leader and thrive in a leadership role. But in order to be a trusted leader, we will have to take a step back and redefine leadership itself.
What is it that actually makes someone a leader?
You may already consider yourself to be a trusted leader. Most of us have the same ideas that come to mind when we picture a leader. A leader is a person in charge. The boss. The person that tells people what to do. The leader is the one with the authority to make decisions and the one who is the visionary.
Not exactly. I’m challenging you to remove yourself from what you think you know about leadership and examine the root of the word in its simplest form. Being a leader isn’t really about your position. It’s about how you hold your position. In essence, a leader is someone who has followers.
Do you remember playing follow the leader on the playground? Yes, the leader is making the decisions. But the followers, the classmates, have to trust the leader enough to follow them. Remember, following is an act that is 100% voluntary. People follow the leader because they trust the leader. At the root of it, people follow who they trust.
If people only follow who they trust, then trust is essential in creating a leader. Through the lens of that new definition, ask yourself: are you a trusted leader? In other words, do you have people who trust you and will follow you?
If not, you have some work to do. It’s essential that you create the level of trust that you need in your business and within your team in order to actually become a trusted leader. The more trust, the better leader.