Watching the Open golf tournament with my husband and a player hits the ball, it makes it to the green, it rolls and hits the flag, denying a hole in one. What? Wait a minute. I call interference. That should count. My husband only laughs at me. It is no laughing matter; I am sure for the golfers or leaders when they realize they have made a big mistake.
Some mistakes we make are lessons we can learn from. I just posted a blog about helping students understand it is okay to make mistakes. However, when you make a mistake with character, there is no turning back.
When staff members do not trust their leaders, it causes big trouble! Let me restate that remark. When staff members have valid reasons that are proven not to trust their leaders, this is critical. When you reread these statements, significant differences between these two statements can be found. In some environments, you have toxic individuals who always look for trouble—explaining my first statement. Disruption in your building or organization will happen if these are not addressed. However, when a leader does not lead with character, this is critical to the structure and organization. Trust will be gone, and no growth will happen.
Some examples would be:
- Leaders have taken credit for staff member’s work.
- Throwing staff under the bus- blaming
- Fabricating- Lying
- Inauthenticity-changing when it seems like the best thing to do for themselves
- Point out mistakes, belittle, criticize in front of others constantly
- Playing favorites (everyone can see and hear the ones who get the most attention)
- Ego driven leadership style
- Lack of communication and transparency -Staff avoid conversations for fear of retaliation
- Staff feel in the dark, neglected, and avoided
We are human, and we make mistakes. Recovery from breaking trust with staff is not a reset you can do. There are many things to do when you make a mistake staff will need to move forward. The first is to own it. Apologize for the mistake you made and explain the action steps you will take to correct and prevent it from happening again.
Leadership is like everything else in life. The more practice you have, the better it gets. To change anything, you need to start with, as Michael Jackson says, “The Man in the mirror.” To be politically correct, let’s say, person.