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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Trust: The Core of Leadership (Aristotle)

The best leadership advice I know started with the work of Aristotle in his book Rhetoric. He said that in order for speakers to be believable, they had to do three things well: Show good character, good sense, and good will. These three elements comprise: Trust. With high trust, there is no colleague or follower you can’t work with and without it none you can work with.

Good Character is all about honesty, integrity and courage to do the right thing. If a client sees that you stand for what you say…say-do, you deliver what you promise, and make things right when you don’t, there’s little they won’t do for you.

Good Sense is basic competency in your business. In short, knowing your business well. To be of value and even competitive, you must know the substance of your craft.

Good Will: Simply put, clients must believe that you have their best interest at heart—you care for them in an enduring way. Trust comes not as a one-shot deal but a sustained relationship that good colleagues and clients want.

To be trusted you need all three of these (Good Character, Good Sense and Good Will)…not one or two. Over the next few posts, I'll discuss each of these three in more depth.

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