The Law of Solid Ground – Trust Is the Foundation of Leadership
ƒTrust is the foundation of leadership. It is the most important thing.

Leaders cannot repeatedly break trust with people and continue to
influence them.

Your people know when you make mistakes. The real question is whether you’re going to fess up. If you do, you can often regain their trust.

ƒHow does a leader build trust?

By consistently exemplifying competence, connection and character.

People will forgive occasional mistakes on ability. And they will give you time to connect. But they won’t trust someone who has slips in character.

ƒCharacter Communicates – a person’s character quickly communicates many things to others. Here are the most important ones:

o Character Communicates Consistency – leaders without inner
strength can’t be counted on day after day because their ability to
perform changes constantly.

o 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?

o 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.

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.

(notes from

This entry was published on February 9, 2012 at 9:26 pm. It’s filed under John C. Maxwell, Leadership, The 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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