And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 2 Timothy 2:2 NIV
Reliable. The word from this important leadership scripture resonated with me as I prepared for a leadership meeting recently. Entrust what you know to reliable people. The Apostle Paul is giving leadership directives to a next generation leader named Timothy. Invest in reliable people. Reliable.
Would someone identify you as reliable?
I think I am pretty reliable most days. I made a commitment to follow through with my promises years ago after some serious introspection. I call it my defining moment. It's the time in our personal lives when we take an assessment and realize we might be standing in the way of our success. Truthfully, back then, I wasn't very reliable. I was short on all accounts: short-tempered, short-sighted, and short on cash. I suffered from grandiose visions of myself. I wasn't interested in foundational leadership qualities like trust and reliability. Trust and reliability sounded boring to me. I was interested in action. I charged toward the next thing. I had bigger and better things to accomplish.
Is trust something that people earn or do you give it away until someone misuses or abuses it?
There is no easy way to build trust with people or the organization we lead. There are numerous ways to erode trust. Some leaders think it's impossible to gain trust once we've lost it. Simon Sinek is a popular speaker and leadership expert. I attended a leadership event last week where he was the featured speaker. I was spell-bound as I listened to him narrate his experience from Afghanistan. Simon is part of a leadership team for the United States Air Force. He asked how 'safe' people were in our workplace.
How safe are you at work, home or with others?
I was totally captivated as Simon recalled his encounter in the war zone. His experience with the Air Force men and women changed him for life. His return flight was cancelled due to serious shelling. His demeanor changed instantly when he felt his life was in danger. He demanded someone respond to his needs immediately. He didn't care about who were engaged in the fighting. Casualties were brought in as brave men and women delicately handled the bodies. But, the bravery didn't end there. Those men and women went back out into the war zone for more. The fighting subsided and a few days later, Simon flew home seated beside a flag-draped casket for nine hours. You can listen to Simon's TED Talk from 2014 HERE.
Am I willing to help others feel safe?
Not everyone is called to serve in battlefields. But, many people live or work in unsafe environments. My challenge to you is to create a safe place for others. Do all you can to minimize threatening behaviors and volunteer for the heavy duty of confrontation from time to time. Leaders can engage healthy teams by building trust with others simply by being reliable. Are you investing in becoming reliable yourself? It might be time to take a serious look at behaviors that stand in the way of personal or team success. I will be sharing some of this insight with 30 Confirmation students this weekend as they become full members of our church. It is a time of commitment and challenge. I hope you can be there to share this moment with us.