Yesterday I did kind of a roundup of visiting many other blogs that talk about leadership topics. There’s an Alltop page for top leadership news and I’m honored to have my blog included on that list.


via Flickr

I took a glance through about 73 blogs. I excluded 9 from the beginning because they were “group” blogs rather than individual blogs. I excluded one because I was familiar with it and know that particular blog doesn’t accept comments. Out of the other 63 I excluded 54 of them for various reasons, most of which were that they have comment systems that make me work for the opportunity to comment on them. Those that didn’t make me work for it have comment systems that I am familiar with and know that even if they respond to my comment I’ll never see it; what’s the point in bothering, right?

So I was left with 9 blogs that I commented on. I can’t say all my comments were exceptionally nice, but they were all courteous and I made a point. Even so, I found that more than half of them talked about something that, strangely enough, they don’t back up.

There’s this thing about the word “trust” that people throw around when talking about leadership. The premise is that leaders have to be trusted by the people around them before people will follow them. Actually that’s not quite true. People will better follow someone they trust, but most people will follow whomever takes charge of a situation, even if it’s only to protect their own interests.

However, there’s the other side of that word “trust”. That one is where leaders also have to trust, to a certain extent, that others are true to their word and their duty and won’t do things that bring down the leader or the team. On that front, out of the 9 blogs I commented on, only one truly exhibited that trust.

On 8 of the blogs I commented on, they moderated my comment. What that does is immediately tells me they don’t trust me because I might be a spammer, or I might say something they don’t like. In essence, they punished everyone because a few have irritated them. They haven’t taken the steps to learn how to use Akismet or the GASP anti-spybot plugin to protect themselves, or any of many other systems that don’t irritate people.

On one of those 8 blogs the author also uses what’s known as a “captcha” system; that’s where you have to type in certain scrambled letters with those backgrounds that are hard to see through, hoping you get it right so that your comment will be approved. I’m about 85% on those things when I care to even try, but that often makes me less than “nice” in commenting, even if I support what I’ve read.

Trust is a two-way street. Being cautious always makes sense, but it needs to be applied for the proper reason. Do I loan money to someone I just met? Not on your life. Do I loan money to someone I don’t know all that well? Never. Do I ever loan anyone money? I have in the past, and I’m about 50-50 on ever seeing that money again. Is loaning money a leadership thing? For the most part no, which is why one needs to exert great caution before doing it.

But as a leader, you can’t do it alone. You need to trust others to do the right thing, and if they don’t then you need to take care of that. True leaders don’t punish everyone for the acts of a few; that’s what government is for (you know I’m right). I’ve been writing this blog for 6 years now and I’ve never moderated a single comment. If you leave a comment on this blog and it goes into moderation, it means you’ve put something into the comment that my spam filters think is unsafe or should be checked out. It’s something that doesn’t happen as a common occurrence, which I think says something about the type of content spam wants to go after in general.

I’ve decided to do something a little different here. I’m going to include the links of the blogs I commented on, but they’re not going to be live links unless I hear back from those blogs in some fashion. You can go visit them, since I at least found these blogs worth commenting on, but know that if it’s a link you can just click on that I heard back from that person, good or bad, and that qualifies as receiving what some in the blogging community like to refer to as “link love”. Here they are:

http://www.thepracticeofleadership.net/leadership-manifesto

http://managingleadership.com/blog/2011/05/12/whence-leadership

http://ninasimosko.com/blog/leaders-only-do-what-you-can-do

http://bigredtomatocompany.co.uk/posts/are-you-engaging

http://leadchangegroup.com/top-10-trust-killers

http://www.aspire-cs.com/ceo-of-your-own-career

http://learnthis.ca/2011/07/positive-motivation-when-you-need-it-most

http://www.marcresearch.com/blogs/merrill/2011/07/20/i-have-a-new-hero-read-on-to-see-who-it-is

http://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/2011/07/how-to-be-more-purposeful-in-your-leadership

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