I've heard it said that, "Morale is trust in the leader."
Building the trust of a large staff is like trying to hold on to large amounts of sand with out any equipment to assist. You can try all you want, but it's just going to slip through our fingers in the end. You can labor and toil, but is it all for naught in the end? Okay, that may sound "downer-ish", but that's just the way I feel tonight. Now is a time I need wisdom, wisdom I haven't yet earned from stripes and scars and failures. I feel like I can give everything and make myself as available as possible and take risk after risk after risk, but it doesn't just guarantee trust.
The more I reflect on the above quote, the more I think about the stupid trust fall activities we would do at summer camp. However, those trust fall activities make sense now. If "morale is trust in the leader," then morale is not solely dictated by the actions of the leader. The group on the ground with their arms weaved together as a safety net can be ready to be trusted, can have said all the right things, can be as able bodied as a group made up of World's Strongest Man competitors. However, if the trusting person doesn't fall...then no morale will be built because no trust was given. Sure...you can push the faller, but that doesn't build trust, just relief from escaping death (or serious injury).
I truly feel that initiation of trust should be made by the leader. He should work to earn trust through integrity and self-sacrificing service. Trust, although, is not a one way street. Maybe morale isn't as much about the leaders actions as it is about the reciprocal trust from the followers. If the leader stands firm, is capable, consistent, available, and reliable then the burden of trust shifts to the follower.
What do you think?