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The Triad of Leadership: Trust, Belief, and Faith

Remember the PINKY PROMISE ?

It signified that the person could break the finger of the one who broke the promise.

The concept of the “Pinky Promise” (sacred with BFFs, symbolizing trust) certainly brings back fond memories of trust and loyalty in our closest friendships, underscoring the importance of trust in various aspects of life, including the highly specialized domain of workplace leadership. While designing a module on “Trusted Leadership” I was thinking of the difference between the words; TRUST, BELIEF, and FAITH which are indeed distinct yet interconnected concepts that play significant roles in leadership and relationship-building. Here is what I concluded in my mind :

TRUST in leadership is when I see the actions of another aligning with their intentions. As a leader, it’s essential to demonstrate consistency between what you say and what you do. When your team witnesses this alignment, trust begins to take root. For example: When a leader emphasizes the importance of fostering a collaborative culture and then actively participates in team projects, it reinforces trust in their leadership among employees, showcasing the alignment between their words and actions.

BELIEVE, on the other hand, extends beyond trust. It persists when there is an internal alignment or deep conviction toward the relationship, be it with anyone or anything. Leaders should not only strive to earn the trust of their team members but also foster a sense of belief in their capabilities, values, and the shared mission. For example: A leader who consistently embodies the organizational vision, mission, and values in daily routines, rather than mere words, nurtures a deep sense of belief within their team, encouraging them to follow his/her guidance.

FAITH transcends both trust and belief. It’s the willingness to take leaps of faith even when the path ahead is unclear. As a leader, having faith in your vision and inspiring others to share in that faith can be a powerful motivator, driving your team to reach new heights. For example: When a leader displays unshakable faith in the team’s potential in times of crisis, it can inspire team members to achieve remarkable outcomes, even in challenging circumstances.

Reflecting on these principles as a leader is vital for Trusting Leadership :

1. Building Trust :

Consider what are ways in which you are nurturing trust within your team? Are you too guarded in communication and trust which is causing issues such as excluding your team from decision-making, improper task delegation, and reluctance to share knowledge and engage in brainstorming? Holding trust too tightly as a leader could potentially impede collaboration and hinder overall growth, along with other associated consequences.

2. Examining Beliefs :

Try to explore what are some of your helping and hindering beliefs, both in leadership abilities and ethical principles. To what extent do you have belief in your capabilities and ethical standards as a leader? When a leader forms an assumption or maintains a strong belief, it becomes crucial to assess whether that belief is healthy, impactful, and grounded in reality, as it has the potential to impact individuals and entire teams.

3. Inspiring Faith :

Reflect on how much faith you have in your organization’s vision and the ability to instill faith in your team and stakeholders. Explore the areas where this faith might be close to becoming blind faith. Blind faith can distort employees’ perceptions of reality, harm their mental well-being, foster unhealthy dependency on the leader’s faith, and, as a result, have a detrimental impact on the overall organizational culture.

In a leader’s journey, balancing trust, belief, and faith is paramount to grow both personally and professionally. Moreover, it’s about fostering an environment where trust is earned, belief is cultivated, and faith is an unwavering force that propels your team toward a shared goal. Well, what I have presented is an initial blueprint, adaptable to individual inclinations with a long path, but the crux remains the same, introspecting and acting on these principles, to strengthen your leadership capability and inspire others to follow your lead.

Remember, like the sacred Pinky Promise, the bonds of trust, belief, and faith a leader creates can make trusting leadership more powerful, shaping the future of your organization and the relationships within it.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

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