Leadership and Trust
1 in 3 employees don't trust their employers. Dori Meinhert sites 2016 Edleman Trust Barometer adding, the farther away an employee is from the senior leaders, the less connected they feel to the company’s strategy and the less they understand what their role is and how they can contribute. This disconnect is between attributes that employees believe are important for building trust and how leaders are actually performing against those attributes. Practice what you preach.
Paul writes to Timothy explaining the attributes of a leader or overseer (1 Timothy 3:1-7). Chapter two concludes by explaining the relationship between the teacher and student. It is the role of the teacher to pass along understanding (Discipleship) so that the student will one day become the teacher.
Paul now transitions in chapter three to the attributes of a leader. Later he will go further with the expectations of Deacons. These attributes foster trust, and require a practice of the overseer's teachings. The overseer exemplifies the attributes of a disciple.
50 percent of those interviewed stated it is important for CEO's to exhibit highly ethical behavior, but only 24 percent believed their acting CEO did so. There is a trust issue that ultimately hurts the performance of the organization.
The findings in these management studies confirmed what Paul wrote thousands of years ago. He outlined the ethical and moral requirements of overseers. He also emphasized the leader's reputation in the community and management of their household. This overseer position is also known in the church as an elder.
Once again we return to the undercurrent of life. Scripture has taught us how to be successful. Scripture is helpful in rebuking, teaching, correcting, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). Scripture is not only the textual evidence of religion, but a river of life. It's the source code to all creation.
So, Paul outlines the attributes of a leader. Not a successful leader, a leader, period. There is no other kind of leader. We were made for community. In the beginning, God created all things and man. He saw that it was not good for man to be alone, so He made woman. It could be argued, why wasn't God enough? Adam wasn't alone, he had God. However, God created woman as she was needed. She was a help-mate (Genesis 2:18).
In community we need leaders to guide, protect, and train (teach). We are not autonomous to ourselves. Even if someone does not attend church, they have a community. It could be a hobby, sports, family, club or academic circles . . . etc. somewhere we are a part of a community. We need to belong. Leaders develop and cultivate the culture of that community.
This relationship between community and leadership hinges on trust. Without trust we are lost. Without leadership we trust, the organization flounders and dies. This is why becoming a teacher and growing into an overseer is critical. It's critical for any organization to have a process in place that brings students to the level of overseer. This is Discipleship.
The process of becoming a leader or overseer, cultivates character others will follow. Who I am today, is not who I will be tomorrow. We are growing and processing. Those who become stuck in their maturity will not qualify to be a leader. They are barely bearable on an individual basis. As a community we help everyone reach their full potential, and study ways to walk humbly with our God in peace.
Leaders are held to a higher standard. Paul sends Timothy to hold the Ephesus church accountable. We are to be held accountable, from the CEO position all the way down to the student learning the story of Moses for the first time. This is why The overseer and deacon positions exist, to ensure our community is healthy.
Accountability cultivates trust and transparency with leaders. Community thrives when their is accountability and trust.
The numbers are in. The studies have shown Paul was correct all those years ago.
Some questions to ponder:
Where are you in your journey to maturity?
Have you been in the same place (volunteer, work, conflict management, ...etc.) for a long time?
Can you look back at your past and say I am no longer that person?
Can you pick one thing to change or work towards today, in order to push yourself from student, to teacher, to overseer?
A man who had converted to Christianity was accosted one day on the street by a former mistress some time after he had become a Christian. When he saw her he turned and walked the other way. Surprised, the woman called out, “It is I”. He, as he kept going the other way, answered her, “Yes, but it is not I.”
He had changed and knew the woman would no longer recognize his character.
In His service and yours,