If employees are to trust their leaders, they need to know that their leaders genuinely care about them. This doesn’t mean that the leader must avoid conflicts and “play nice” all the time. It does mean that employees know that the leaders of the organization are not just in the game for themselves. Pragmatically speaking, leaders must seek win-win options as much as possible and employees need to know that the leader is looking to create a win for them. 1 In other words, followers want to know that you care about them before they are willing to trust you and follow you. 2
Interestingly, organizations that went from being good to great were all led by relatively humble leaders who were more focused on building the organization than on their own well-being. Humility is not a traditional aspect used to describe effective leaders, but it is consistent with generating the organizational trust necessary to pursue a bold new vision, change initiative, or both. In sum, caring about the well-being of the entire organization and putting its well-being on a par with your own is essential for building organizational change capacity.