So far, reading through The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, I’ve been able to look back and see in my own life and see where the laws applied. I could reflect back and see when I obeyed a rule and when I broke it.
This morning, around 3:30 am or some time after (I went to bed about quarter past 4 am), I was reading the law of solid ground, and as I looked back, I could see the moments of trust I had earned, but I could also see where I had miserably failed, and that is not something that’s easy for me to admit.
Now I said I would let everyone into my life and my business so you could see the real me and everything that I do but before I get into that I want to quickly explain the law of solid ground.
The Law of Solid Ground
The law of solid ground states that trust is the foundation of leadership.
Now, people give you a certain level of trust automatically based on your past successes. The more successes you’ve had in the past the easier it is for someone to trust you initially.
But, as you move forward, that initial trust is something you can build up, or tear down, meaning past the initial level of trust, all of your decisions and actions, accomplishes and failures have an impact on how much people trust you.
In the book it’s explained like currency.
You start of with a little big of change in your pocket and as you move forward you can add change, or pay out change.
When you make good decisions, have successes and accomplishments, and so on, it adds change to your pocket, and if you screw up later on, you can pay out of the change you have and restore the trust people give you.
But if you’re inconsistent, make bad decisions, etc you’re going to keep paying out change, and when it’s gone, nobody will trust you to be their leader, and trust is the foundation of leadership.
Now let’s say you’re just starting out, you have to build trust right? So how do you do that?
I like to call them the 3 C’s of Leadership – to build trust, a leadership must exemplify Competence, Connection and Character.
And character is the most important one as communicates to your followers both consistency and respect.
Have you ever felt mistrust for a leader? A pastor, a group leader, a manager or supervisor?
It’s easy to forgive an honest mistake, as long as you see the person in growing as a leader, especially if they own their mistakes, but what if they don’t?
Look at what happened to the catholic church when one priest was found guilty of child molestation. That harmed the entire outlook of the catholic church.
When President Clinton was found out about Monica Lewinsky it severely undermined his leadership role.
Your character is what people will use to trust you. Are you consistent? Do you keep your word? Are you serving them and not just there for yourself? Do you seek counsel when making decisions or do you make rash ones, on your own?
Your character is trust. If you break trust with your leaders, then you’re simply done as a leader, and if you’re in a business where your success is based on your leadership ability, starting over can be an uphill battle.
This is why I am where I am…
In the Empower Network when I decided to do the business full time this year, I found that re-building what I had from before (essentially starting over) was even harder than starting out and significantly so.
And this is a difficult thing for me to admit, but it’s because of a character flaw I just identified because of this chapter.
And I’m going to be very open here, so that you don’t make the same mistake I did.
Wisdom is gained from one of two places: Mistakes and Mentors.
I’m going through the mistakes and hopefully what I’m sharing with you will be an example of what NOT to do.
Looking back I learned something very important about myself. I am not a consistent person. I have a whole shelf of projects that I started and didn’t finish, projects on the side that were working and bringing result and then I stopped, and a lot more.
People don’t follow inconsistent people. People don’t trust inconsistent people.
I started out great and built a team of 30+ people and I was earning two levels below me in the powerline and it was growing. And then it stopped. WHY?
I betrayed the law of solid ground and now I am facing the results.
But here is the good news – Now that I know, I can change, I can adapt, and I make things right, and I can move forward with rebuilding a successful organization.
I need to work on developing my character. I may have read this book just to learn that one thing about myself.
Thank you for your time, I really appreciate you being here.
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