6. The Law of Solid Ground

The Law of Solid Ground: Trust is the Foundation of Leadership

Yeah, so it’s almost the end of January and I haven’t read since January 2. *Sad face* It’s kind of interesting though that I’ve been wrestling with my motivation over the past few weeks and then all of a sudden, I was like “I want to read!” I thought that was pretty cool that despite my circumstances, there are still bits and pieces of me that refuse to me ignored. I’ve been hungry and I need to feed my mind!

How important is trust for a leader? It is the most important thing. Trust is the foundation of leadership. It is the glue that holds an organization together. p. 61

I’m glad I’m reading this law today. Yesterday, my bible study crew had a important conversation about the future of our group. Expansion seemed like a great idea but the biggest issue that we had was the idea of bringing in new members who we haven’t established a trusting relationship with. Our bible study sessions get REAL and when you’re opening up like that, trust is vital. Trust is also crucial to connecting with folks on a personal level, as I’m learning not only through my own relationships but also through my reading of Daring Greatly. Trust is one of those delicacies of life that is so hard to get but so easy to destroy. I guess that’s like anything important in life.

Maxwell shares his story about how he made some rash decisions as a church leader which corroded some of the trust in his organization. Fortunately, he hadn’t done that too often during his 8 years in his position and was able to recover by admitting his mistakes and moving forward.

How does a leader build trust? By consistently exemplifying competence, connection, and character. People will forgive occasional mistakes based on ability, especially if they can see that you’re still growing as a leader. And they will give you some time to connect. But they won’t trust someone who slips in character. In that area, even occasional lapses are lethal. All effective leaders know this truth. p. 64

Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without strategy. p. 64

“You can’t get too much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” If your people don’t know what to expect from you as a leader, at some point they won’t look to you for leadership. p. 65

You don’t build up trust by talking about it. You build it by achieving results, always with integrity and in a manner that shows real personal regard for the people with whom you work. p. 66


  1. Although I’m not exactly sure I know who I lead, I’m pretty sure that when I do lead, I am respected and trusted. I don’t know if I have lapses in character these days. I’ll have to get some feedback on that. I know I used to, but I believe I’ve calmed down. I still make mistakes, and I think I do a better job of recognizing and admitting them. I think I could do a better job about building trust with my leaders. That would require more consistency and discipline.
  2. I do believe I focus on developing my character and competence. I might even focus on character more-so because I believe that skills can be taught, unlike character. Maxwell challenges readers to focus on developing integrity (honesty), authenticity (Congruency), and discipline (consistency).
  3. I know I have broken trust of people in the past, but to be honest, I’m not sure if those relationships need to be mended at this point. I’m open to other ideas, but for now, we should be good.

Cheers to earning trust!


About Ernest Levert Jr.

Aspiring Servant-Leader studying engineering principles, financial stewardship, business management, and psychology fundamentals in order to cultivate passionate leadership, disseminate positive energy, uplift the community and ultimately create a brighter future for generations to come.
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