I’ve learned that one of my most fruitful strategies in leadership over the years has been creating trust-filled safe space. This one has taken me a longer time to cultivate because I have run my mouth too much and talked to broadly to earn peoples' trust. But as I have worked at that area of my life with God’s help, I have begun to earn peoples trust, and often very quickly.
Here’s what I have found: you be fake, and they will be fake. You act perfect, they will (try to) act perfect. Instead, I strive to be vulnerable, real and open with leaders with whom I walk. Contrary to counsel I have received for many years from other leaders who tell you to stay guarded and careful about what you share with those you lead… I don't sign up for their philosophy. I try to share my heart and avoid hiding my brokenness and the result has been deep relationships. Leaders end up sharing their real stuff with me. They share their sin, their fears, their past hurts and abuses and feel safe. Nothing holds a leader back from their destiny more than a broken heart that’s being ignored. And the only place that a broken heart can be operated on is in a SAFE PLACE. I feel my calling is toward shepherding hearts more than sharpening skills.
Bottom line is…get real, be transparent, and you’ll be opening up the gates for others to do the same. Far too many leaders (and Christians for that matter) waste far too much precious energy maintaining an image that isn’t helping themselves or anyone else.