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Insight from Kenny Chesney on Trustworthy Leaders

Trustworthy leaders with average teams outperform teams of suspicious superstars.

Untrustworthy leaders swing a blunt axe. Speed slows to agony. Confidence turns to suspicion. Authenticity becomes masking-up. Initiative turns to covering your butt. Support turns to accusation. And joy heads for the horizon when you don’t have trustworthy leaders.

Kenny Chesney explains trustworthy leaders in the song, “Grandpa Told Me So.”

Grandpa Told Me So (Chorus)

He said life was made for you to live
The best love is the love that you give
There’ll be times when you wanna hold on but you gotta let go
And I lived by those words, ’cause grandpa told me so

Yeah, and I still believe, ’cause grandpa told me so

Trustworthy leaders are like Grandpa:

#1. Be comfortable in your boots.

Grandpa says, “I don’t know.” And when he’s uncertain he says, “I could be wrong.”

Smoke-blowers are untrustworthy.

Self-knowledge multiplied by self-acceptance makes you trustworthy. You tend to accept others when you accept yourself.

#2. Relax when you screw up.

Grandpa says, “Well that didn’t work.”

Never run like a cockroach when the light reveals mistakes. Tighten your belt and say, “I sure blew that one.”

“I was wrong,” is a deposit in the trust bank, as long as you don’t screw up the same way over and over.

Trustworthy leaders never overreact to their own failures.

#3. Give voice to your heart.

You trust Grandpa because he likes you and he says it.

It’s unusual to seek the best interest of someone you don’t like. It’s normal to attack an adversary and fun to vilify objectionable folk.

Trustworthy leaders like people.

#4. Admire the strengths of everyone.

Grandpa isn’t threatened by how great you are.

You trust Grandpa because his jeans are worn thin and he only wants what’s best for you.

What makes leaders trustworthy?

Still curious:

The 10 Laws of Trust from the Chairman of Jet Blue

7 Faces of Distrust

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