Why should I follow an invisible leader?
Courage and integrity cannot be manufactured, argues CIPD’s Laura Harrison.
Political discourse has taken an unexpected turn. Like many, I expected the pre-election news and social traffic to focus on Brexit and the economy. But it seems that was a miscalculation. It’s almost as if the country is feeling its way towards a strange form of unity, cohering around one question, ‘can we trust our leaders?’ Now, the answers to that question, and the leaders it may point to, may differ wildly, but there’s much that we can learn from what appears to be going on.
A QUESTION OF TRUST
We know from our own research that we trust leaders who ‘show up’ as competent, predictable and who act with integrity and benevolence. In the main, competence and predictability are manageable as ‘brands.’ Your communications manager can ensure that your leadership decisions are rationalised clearly for different audiences. Said manager can also ensure that there’s a rhythm and an overarching theme and tone to your messages that meet the requirement for predictability. So far, so easy. And manageable at a distance, behind the glass walls of the corner office. You can convey both competence and predictability through many channels, to people you may never meet.
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