New and very well done research on servant leadership establishes a link between this employee-focused style of management and enhanced team performance. Servant leadership leads to employees feeling trust toward the leader, which allows them to take more risks when working in their team because they feel safe rather than threatened.
Striving for excellence and transformational change is risky. Risk and vulnerability create fear. Courage is the ability to move forward in the presence of fear. Your team will languish if it's members are unable to find the courage to take reasonable risks to accomplish remarkable objectives.
Trust means that people are willing to make themselves vulnerable to us in a risky situation. Trust can’t cause the people we’ve been given the privilege to lead to have courage. Some will find the courage to act even if they don’t trust us, and others will evade courage regardless of how we behave toward them.
Trust creates the conditions where courage can find its fullest and most productive expression. Courage thrives on trust.
If you want those around you to be more encouraged and less discouraged, please consider changing the thing you have the most control over as a leader – your own behavior. You ultimately have no control over whether or not people will trust you, but you do have absolute control over how worthy you are of their trust.
Be darn good at what you do, consistently walk a talk that your people value, and care deeply about everyone that is affected by the choices you make. Strive to be more encouraging, and you too will be encouraged.