Leadership Requires Trust

By Mark Antony Rossi

Leadership requires trust which ultimately means wisely using the action of delegation. You must select the people willing and able to carry out your objectives. And this precisely is where the failure of leadership takes place. The delegation of duties is irrationally disrupted because the leader is too busy either seeking to manufacture another copy of himself (or herself) or has given up the necessity of delegation and performed the task themselves.

In either instance this is a failure of leadership and chief cause of political and business drama and eventually disarray. The term micromanagement is likely a misnomer because management is not taking place if a person is assigned a task and then expected to do it exactly like their predecessor regardless of competently completing the task assigned.

Leadership must never have a component of insecurity weighing upon its decisions. Leadership requires trust in one’s vision and in others to carry out that vision in their own unique manner. Anything less than this is not leadership but rather a disturbed and diluted form of bad management taking risk adverse to the level of unprofessional paranoia.

And again, paranoia is not trust and therefore not leadership. If you are caught in a situation where you perform tasks you assigned to someone else — you are in a leadership crisis. For either you have not earned the trust of your subordinates, i.e., people must believe in your direction or you have exaggerated expectations of their results, i.e., they didn’t do it like you would do it.

The awful syndrome of “yes-men” haunts the halls of power because even well intentioned professionals confuse compliance with intelligence and in-artfully involve politics into environments where actual performance is paramount. The simple rule here is: if you are listening for a voice, you are becoming a leader. If you are listening for an echo, you are becoming a fool, stop pretending and do the job yourself.

In most cases bad leaders are not bad people on power trips but rather inexperienced pilots who have no business behind the steering wheel of policy or commerce. A leader cannot truly lead without trust as the foundation of every word and action. But trust in one’s self, actions and subordinates only arrives through tested experience and respect for People in particular and Reality in general. We live in a world that lacks leaders but demands followers at every turn. Leadership requires trust which is a hard commodity to come by these days when too many people feel honesty is a weakness best discarded like yesterday’s newspaper. If we are to change the quality of leadership we should first transform dictation into conversation.

About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York. 

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