Leaders often find themselves dealing with currency. Money does, after all, make the world go round. Even charitable organizations have a bottom line budget to meet. However, cash is not the most important currency that leaders deal with. The most important currency that a leader deals in is faith.
You can call it trust or buy-in or any number of things, but a leader must have an account filled with the belief of her followers. It is impossible to lead when the people who you need at your back don’t believe that your vision is possible, or that you can bring about the change needed to realize it. Without belief, a leader is dead in the water.
Like money, faith can be earned and spent. And just like money it must be managed. Here’s a few tips how:
You earn faith when you are honest. You earn faith when you succeed. You earn faith when you recognize the contributions of every member of the team. You earn faith when you believe in others. You earn faith when you do the right thing, even when it is hard. You earn faith when you cast a vision in which everyone can win.
You spend faith when you fail to communicate clearly or withhold information. You spend faith when your words and actions fail to line up. You spend faith when you blame others. You spend faith when you take shortcuts. You spend faith when you fail to recognize the team. You spend faith when your vision changes constantly or favors only a few.
You must manage your faith account just like your bank account. When you are out of faith, no one will follow. You may have to spend faith sometimes, a situation may require you to withhold information for a time. If you have the faith in your account your team or organization will push through. If not, it will fall apart. Be aware of the faith that people have in you, and the faith you have in others. Know that before money even hits the radar for your team, organization, even family; your faith account is what you need full in order to succeed.