Coach K and Chevy's got Leadership all Wrong
My view is this: Trust makes bosses lazy.
Think about it. If you're trusted by your employees, you don't have to explain yourself as thoroughly as you might ... because they trust you. You don't need to to communicate as clearly as you might ... because they trust you. Your reasoning doesn't have to be quite so crisp ... because they trust you. So while you may enjoy this freedom from accountability, none of it is good leadership. It's just lazy leadership.
If Coach K (and the writers) knew as much about leadership as they think they know about selling cars, they might have used the word 'consistency' instead. Good leaders are consistent. Their communications are so consistent that their messages are clearly understood - even when they're not there to explain them in a particular instance. Their approach to problem-solving is so consistent that employees know what methodology will yield the most thorough and creative solutions. And their focus on the right priorities is so consistent - both in establishing accountabilities and in having meaningful performance discussions related to them - that employees actually know how to succeed in their jobs.
That you may engender trust along the way is, in my view, an unfortunate byproduct of direct authority. Better your staff continues to challenge you to be that much more intelligent, articulate, respectful, caring, and engaged on a daily basis - on a moment-by-moment basis. It's what you want from them.
So don't force your staff to rely on their trust in you to make sense of your actions and attitudes. Show them you can lead them professionally - and consistently - 24x7, instead.
Labels: Leadership Development