I answer a lot of questions on Quora. I just like the ‘economy’ of it. One person asks, many people answer, a learning community takes shape. And in the course of answering a question, sometimes the most important learning is what the answerer learns through the act of answering.
This is a recent question someone asked me: Is it better to be a leader that is trustworthy or a leader who is strong?
I answered them, but today – the last day before elections take place in the US – the answer seems more relevant than ever.
Without trust, there is no leadership. There might be despotism, but leadership? Never. This is because to truly lead – not ‘manage’ or ‘drive’ or ‘force’ people to do something – you must inspire them. As long as they trust you, this is possible. And, although you might not be inspirational to everyone, at least you will get to some of them.
As far as strength goes, if it is defined in the typical way, it often fits better with despotic leadership rather than trust-inspired leadership. But I would argue that truth strength implies that we use our ‘weakness’ – our humanity, which acknowledges that we are not all-knowing and all-powerful – in positive, constructive ways that let us, as well as our team, grow and succeed.
May we all be blessed with local, national, and world leaders who we can trust!