Many businesses have fallen on tough times in recent years, and employees are looking to leaders in their organization for guidance and assurance more than ever. But if team members lack trust in their leaders, company objectives can be compromised. In fact, lack of trust is one of the top reasons employees quit.
So here are a few quick ideas about how to practice authentic leadership in your business to earn the trust of your team and lead them more effectively.
Lead With Integrity
Authentic leaders are men and women who demonstrate honesty and integrity in all their business dealings – whether anyone is watching or not. Their subordinates can count on them to do what they say they will do, and they know that their leader expects the same from them.
If you sometimes find that you struggle with the temptation to cut corners in your work or to lie or point fingers at others whenever something goes wrong, then you must commit today to reverse that tendency whenever those situations arise.
By being genuine and sincere you will earn the trust of everyone with whom you do business.
Be Consistent and Fair
It is not always easy to be consistent and treat everyone fairly. Sometimes we think that we are impartial, but everyone is guilty from time to time of making rash judgments about others or treating some people differently than others – often without even realizing that we are doing it.
Work hard at knowing yourself and at acting ethically at all times. Authentic leadership requires a deliberate effort to treat everyone fairly and not play favorites.
And be especially self-aware when dealing with a diverse workforce to ensure that no legal lines are accidentally crossed due to unintentional discrimination.
Show Humility When Appropriate
Never ask a subordinate to do something that you would never do yourself.
The willingness to roll up your sleeves and do unpleasant grunt work sometimes can go a long way to earn you the respect of your employees. But holding them to one standard while following an easier one yourself can make you lose their trust forever.
Authentic leadership also means acknowledging that you yourself are a work in progress.
You don’t have to pretend to have all the answers or try to be perfect. Nobody trusts a leader who cannot admit when he is wrong or when he has made a mistake. You’ve got to own both your successes and your failures to build lasting trust with your team.
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