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The nextleader wins through trust

Far too often, executives still live by the motto "trust is good, control is better." This completely overlooks the need to build trust in the leader-employee relationship in our dynamic and complex world. In today's article, you can read how the interplay of integrity and trust makes it possible to build a trusting relationship.

Trust results from the interplay of integrity and confidence

“Trust is good, control is better” is a frequently used quote in collaboration attributed to Lenin. In the relationship between supervisor and employee, it is mostly the manager’s task to control the delegated tasks, as otherwise errors are also attributable to the manager himself. Therefore, the aspect of delegation is often linked to control in competency models for managers.

In a world that is becoming increasingly dynamic and complex, the challenges for managers are also constantly increasing. Numerous professional articles and studies prove that trust in the leadership relationship is becoming increasingly important in order to motivate employees and achieve better performance (Haufe article).

But looking at the trust relationship solely against the backdrop of employee motivation is no longer sufficient. Trust lies somewhere in the realm between knowing and not knowing. Because if you know everything, you don’t have to rely on the knowledge of others. And if you don’t know anything, you can’t rely on others, but only hope that others will do it. This is because a certain basic knowledge is necessary in order to be able to deal with the contents.

But now knowledge becomes the basis of our work and the next leader has no possibility to know everything. His employees will have much more differentiated information in respective subject areas than is possible for the next leader, as specialist and expert roles increase. The next leader must maintain an overview and at the same time have sufficient expertise to be able to assess and control the work[nbsp]. In the deep content, however, he must be able to rely on the knowledge of his employees. In addition, in the context of flexible work location and time models as well as virtual teams, rapidly changing requirements and framework conditions, he himself will be dependent on the trust of his employees, otherwise commitment and dedication will quickly fall by the wayside and the employees may look for other leaders whom they trust more.

But how does the nextleader develop a trusting relationship?

Trust can always be exploited if the necessary basis for it is not present. So what can the next leader do to build trust?

First, the leader’s role model function plays a particularly important role in embodying integrity. Because whoever announces something generates hope. Those who implement this in turn act with integrity and generate trust in their own person. Credibility and reliability are the key drivers of integrity of the next leader. The problem is that credibility and reliability have to be worked hard for, but can be quickly lost once you’ve really disappointed.

A second aspect is confidence in the manager. This is about the extent to which the manager can implement changes, solve problems or deal with pressure. This confidence in leadership ability is shaped by natural strength (not positional power) and competence that the leader exudes. The interplay of trust and acting with integrity results in a trusting relationship that also allows the employee to follow without the need for constant control, coordination and instructions. This will make the life of a next leader much easier.

So, in the end, it remains to be said for the next leader that control is good and a bit necessary, but not always fully possible. Therefore, trust is better and the means to win with the employee.

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