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Trust and Inspire

Trust and Inspire are the two crucial roles of leaders in schools today, according to guru Stephen MR Covey. It was great to hear his insights at Toddle’s School Leadership Bootcamp last week (and not just because I had a fanboy moment and got goosebumps when he gave me a shout out during his keynote).

Covey teaches trust all around the world. He explained that you can have two trustworthy leaders who are working together and have NO trust between them, even though they are both trustworthy. If neither person is willing to extend trust to the other, there will be no trust between them.

To have TRUST we need to be BOTH Trustworthy (we have earned trust based on our competencies and behaviour) and Trusting (trust is given to others). He observed that in many schools and in many school districts around the world, it isn’t that leaders aren’t trustworthy, it is that they aren’t trusting enough. No one likes to be micro-managed.

Covey differentiated between COMMAND & CONTROL leadership and TRUST & INSPIRE leadership with these illustrations.

COMMAND & CONTROL                               TRUST & INSPIRE
Manage people and things                                     Manage things, lead people
Efficiency, transactional                                         Effectiveness, transformational
“Machinist” analogy (mechanistic)                    “Gardener” analogy (organic)
Fixed mindset:- Control and contain                   Growth mindset:- Release, unleash
Motivation (external)                                                Inspiration (internal)

You can replay Covey’s keynote on Trust and Inspire  here

PS My shout out is at 34 min 50 sec