Leadership is often as much about trust as anything else that you do or say. Standing for what is best and right creates loyalty and trust that is hard to obtain any other way.
“Do what you say” and “say what you do”, while oft used is nonetheless true. Trying to please everyone is not leadership. Gaining respect by doing what is right in a crisis is leadership. Building consensus because the direction you take makes sense and is true to your organization’s values is leadership.
Take note from Democrat Senator Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut who wrote an op-ed letter yesterday in the Wall Street Journal
“Here is an ironic finding I brought back from Iraq. While U.S. public opinion polls show serious declines in support for the war and increasing pessimism about how it will end, polls conducted by Iraqis for Iraqi universities show increasing optimism. Two-thirds say they are better off than they were under Saddam, and a resounding 82% are confident their lives in Iraq will be better a year from now than they are today. What a colossal mistake it would be for America's bipartisan political leadership to choose this moment in history to lose its will and, in the famous phrase, to seize defeat from the jaws of the coming victory.”
Mark Twain, famous for comedic comment and satire provides additional wisdom to this concept:
“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
To Senator Lieberman, I am gratified and astonished. Great leadership.