Sunday, May 20, 2012

Looking for Trust

In the book, Strengths Based Leadership, the Gallop organization boiled down thousands of responses regarding what people desire from the most influential leaders in their lives.  At the top of the list they found followers looking for leaders they respected because of their integrity.  In a word, this translated into trust.

So how does a leader build trust?  There are numerous ways but nothing strikes me as being more important than singularly following after Jesus.  In fact, the book of Matthew tells us that if the first and strongest thing we do is follow after Him then everything else will be taken care.  Of course, a great deal of people within Christianity don't singularly follow after God. Many people are trying to serve multiple things with equal fervency. God and money… God and power… position and God… position and relationships… on and on…  The eventual outcome is duplicitous living. Duplicity is speaking or acting in different ways to different people concerning the same matter.  It's an actual external behavior.  It can be measured and observed.  But, of course, it always starts on the inside. Effective leadership is not sustainable when the trajectory of the heart is incongruous with the way a leader lives.  This is dangerous territory.  There are numerous examples of this happening all around us...

  • A Mid-Eastern government leader makes an official statement to the U.N. about the way his country is pursuing peace.  In spite of the fact they are currently at war.
  • Instead of using things and loving people a pastor uses people and loves things.
  • A parent expects a child to do what they say rather than what they do.

Simply put, when a leader doesn't do what she says she's going to do integrity crumbles, respect is lost and trust is impossible... seriously, forget about it.  The first task of a Christian leader is to actually seek God with severe intentionality.  If that happens trust can grow anywhere... which is what followers are looking for!

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