The Equity of Leadership

When we hear the word economy, we usually think banks, business, government, and finances. As a leader there is another economy. It's the leadership economy. Similar to the banking world, you consistently make deposits and withdrawals with the people and the teams you lead. The decisions you make, the actions you take, and the words you speak can be used in a powerful way to build equity as a leader.

And if there is one word to describe how you build leadership equity it's this: TRUST.

Trust is the currency of leadership equity. If you build trust with the people you lead and the people who lead you, you'll quickly realize that you're building equity in your leadership.  And trust is a difficult currency to work with. Because it takes time and consistency to develop, but it can be destroyed in a single moment.

So how do we build trust? Here's four ways to build trust with the people you lead and with the people who lead you.
  1. Honor your word. If you say you'll do something, do it. Plain and simple. 
  2. Take care of business. If the people you lead can't trust you with simple tasks or a small amount of responsibility, you're not likely to be given more leadership and responsibility. Likewise, if the people you lead don't trust you to get the job done, they're likely not going to follow you for long.
  3. Be present. Leadership, at the end of the day, is all about relationships. And you build trust in relationships by being present and investing in people's lives. When you show you care, people realize they can trust you.
  4. Exhibit integrity. Always have integrity in your speech. Refuse to gossip. Refuse to complain Refuse to be negative. Remember this principle: If people will talk about someone else to you, they'll talk about you to someone else. And no one trusts that kind of person. 
Understand this: Building trust takes time, consistency, and hard work. But it's the most important investment you'll make as a leader. Why? Because building trust = building leadership equity.

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