THE LEADER MUST DEVELOP TRUST WITH PEOPLE
It is wonderful when the people believe in the leader. It is more wonderful when the leader believes in the people. When both are a reality, trust is the result. The more people trust the leader, the more willing they will be to accept the leader’s proposed changes.
Warren Bennis and Bert Nanus say that “trust is the emotional glue that binds followers and leaders together.”Abraham Lincoln said, “If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his true friend. Next, probe to discover what he wants to accomplish.” My first question to a leader who wants to make changes within an organization is always, “What is your relationship with your people?” If the relationship is positive, then the leader is ready to take the next step.
THE LEADER MUST MAKE PERSONAL CHANGES BEFORE ASKING OTHERS TO CHANGE
Sadly, too many leaders are like my friend who made a list of New Year’s resolutions: be nicer to people; eat nutritious food; be more giving to friends; cut down on sweets and fats; be less critical of others. My friend showed me the list, and I was quite impressed. They were great goals. “But,” I asked her, “do you think you’ll be able to meet all of them?” “Why should I?” she answered. “This list is for you!” Andrew Carnegie said, “As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.” Great leaders not only say what should be done, they show it!
GOOD LEADERS UNDERSTAND THE HISTORY OF THE ORGANIZATION
The longer an organization has gone without change, the more effort introducing it will require. Also, when change is implemented and the result is negative, people within the organization will be leery of embracing future changes. The opposite is also true. Successful changes in the past prepare people to readily accept more changes. G. K. Chesterton suggests, “Don’t take the fence down until you know the reason it was put up.” It is important to know what happened in the past before making changes for the future.