This week my friend Dan sent me an excellent leadership article written by Bill George. As I poured over it, I was energized by the affirmation found in his piece, "Where Have all the Leaders Gone?" The article which I am providing at the bottom of this post is chock full of great thought, but I am pressed to share with you something we all need a constant dose of.
Followers and other Leaders have to be able to trust you in order for you to enhance organizational effectiveness. I imagine this does not come as a great surprise to many of you. However the stats related to lack of trust are a bit freakish. Bill George points out in his article that recent Gallup research indicates that only 18% of the American people trust the values and ethics of business leaders. That places trust in a minority stake to the leadership portfolio of American Businesses. George tells us, "Without trust, the system cannot function effectively. People become cynical, disengaged, and even prone to anarchy and rebellion." Cynicism, disengagement, and anarchy are sure fire elements to a toxic environment that will choke itself to zero. Of course it comes from the leadership.
My main statement of agreement that Bill George shares is: "Unlike others who bemoan the leadership shortage, I do not believe the problem is a lack of leaders." He is absolutely correct and it falls directly in line with what I mean when I say "The error is in the era." During this era we have seen a lack of character based leaders in many organizational sectors and they are bubbling up to the surface of toxic situations too frequently.
I agree that the media, corporate pressure boards and shareholders have placed too much emphasis on charisma and not enough attention to character. It is the qualities of Character that build the necessary trust an organization must be full of. Look back to my post on Character needing to be the majority of your leadership mixture. Your Recipe Needs a Mixture - Never a Balance. Think about this and ask yourself often - How is my mixture? and please by all means make sure and really analyze the character of the future leaders you are developing to succeed you. I can tell you that the character piece needs to be your front-runner. Follow the article from Bill George all the way through and look at what he says about the new kind of leadership requirements. It is what I like to call a shift from leadership falsehood to True Leadership. To be trustworthy and serving OR not to be is not an option....the next generation is setting the stage that requires Truth Based Leadership.