Law 6, The Law of Solid Ground in John C. Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership states that trust is the foundation of leadership. Trust is a two-way street and leaders must recognise that it is impossible to influence those who follow if that trust is continually being broken. If you say you will deliver then do exactly that – deliver!
Yes, we all make mistakes, nobody is infallible. The key, having made a mistake, is to own up and apologise. In doing so, it is unlikely that you will lose their trust. Of course, repeated mistakes will significantly weaken your position!
Maxwell’s opinion is that a leader’s character communicates many things:
- Character Communicates Consistency – leaders without inner strength can’t be counted on day after day because their ability to perform changes constantly.
- Character Communicates Potential – weak character is limiting. Who do you think has the greater potential to achieve great dreams: someone who is honest, disciplined, and hardworking or someone who is deceitful, impulsive and lazy?
- Character Communicates Respect – When you don’t have character within, you can’t earn respect without. How do leaders earn respect? By making sound decisions, by admitting their mistakes, and by putting what’s best for their followers and the organization ahead of their personal agendas.
In Maxwell’s words:
“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.”
Are you on solid ground as a leader?
This is the 6th article in a series of 21. Previous articles can be found here: