Lesson 17: Trust Through Uncompromising Character

by | Sep 10, 2016

Trust Through Uncompromising Character

Trust Through Uncompromising Character


Trust through uncompromising character is the best way to quickly gain trust and, more importantly, to keep it.  It is very difficult to trust someone whose attitude constantly changes.  It is challenging to trust someone whose daily demeanor changes.  Breaking commitments on a regular basis is a total trust killer.  Lying, mistruths, and stretching the truth also have detrimental consequences on gaining trust.  Leaders who never admit their mistakes, never apologize, or constantly apologize have an impossible task of gaining trust.


Trust Is Many Faceted


Trust has to be earned by displaying uncompromising character and not violating any of the areas listed above.  Serious.  Frankly, you should not call yourself a leader if your word and actions cannot be trusted.  Often leaders demand respect from their people, their students, their kids, their employees.  Respect can be demanded, but at the deeper level, respect should become trust.  As you know, trust is many faceted.  Trust takes time to establish.  John Maxwell is right about this when he mentions in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, that in order for people to buy-in and trust their leader that the leader should exhibit competence, connection, and character.


A few weeks ago, I was at the Global Leadership Summit.  This was a two day leadership event in which I listened to many tremendous speakers on wide-ranging topics related to leadership, service, vision, execution of goals.  One of my favorite speakers was Alan Mulally.  Mulally was the former CEO at Boeing, and former President and Chief Executive Officer for the Ford Motor Company.  He was a brilliant speaker who I would follow anywhere. Why?  The character he showed with leading both Boeing and Ford is legendary. He lead Boeing to its pinnacle, and took over Ford when it was in sad and desperate shape.  Under his leadership, Ford did not seek nor need, a government bailout.  His compensation package for both gigs was impressive.  But, as for his presentation, his delivery was humble, easy-going, and fun.  He totally connected with me.  I would watch him over and over again. Trust established through competence, connection, and character.


Check Out This Related Blog:  5 Simple Tests to Reveal Your Character 


We Have Accepted Lackluster Leadership


Sadly, there are precious few leaders who display uncompromising character.  Over time, we have accepted lackluster leadership in our communities, in our households, and in organizations all over the world.  We tell ourselves that this is the best we have.  This is all we are going to get.  We go along with the leadership and even follow it willingly, knowing full well that the “leaders” character is highly suspect.  This growing trend in our world today makes me cringe.  Not that I am perfect – far from it.  But, to talk about leadership and to be a leader, and have questionable character; I find hypocritical and intolerable.  Like many of you, yes, I follow a leader of questionable character who is unwilling to stand up for what is right.  

We need to start demanding that leaders in our homes, schools, government, churches, and any organization have exemplary character.  Until this happens, we will continue to see our society fall apart.  Leadership through uncompromising character is the hope of the world.  It’s true.  Believe it, and start living it.  Look around.  Can you name ten organizations where the character of the leader is well known for good?  Can you name ten families that are happy together, shaped by character and commitment?  I am disappointed in how we have accepted lackluster leadership, slander, gossip, incompetence, and negativity to be the accepted norm versus the exception.  

Not that having uncompromising character is always easy.  It’s not.  Not that standing up alone for what is right is easy either.  It is extremely difficult.  Right now, being a person of character in this world is not that easy.  One person, and then another person, and then another person, leading with character will make a major difference over time.


Drew Dudley: Leading With Lollipops



Leading With Lollipops


How about this?  Maybe the thought of becoming a person of uncompromising character all of sudden is too daunting, too uncomfortable,  too scary.  Start by creating lollipop moments.  Start by touching someone’s life in a meaningful and positive way. Start by thinking about how you could create some lasting, awesome memories for those you love and care about.  Lollipops. Eventually, you will discover that it feels really good to make a positive impact.  When others begin to admire you and thank you for being right, doing right, for kindness, and discernment, you very well may develop ongoing habits of great character.  Imagine.  Leading with lollipops, nice.  Becoming a person of uncompromising character, nicer!


Trust Through Uncompromising Character

Establish trust through displaying uncompromising character each and every day. Your character, or lack of, will outlast you.







Homework Points

  1. Who do you admire for their uncompromising character?
  2. Who holds you accountable?
  3. What steps are you going to take to be a learner?