If you’re a manager or leader, would you rather have your team members follow you because they know your organization’s vision and mission or because they believe in what the organization is doing? I thought so! So, what’s the difference? Why should we care?

You can transform information into knowledge upon which you may or may not take action. But belief lives in a transformed state already infused with emotion and passion, and it’s always poised for action. As a manager or leader, here are two example scenarios where this distinction should be important to you.

First, leadership is about creating a compelling vision, which is always a destination. People want to be led somewhere. And, they have to be able to visualize themselves at the destination if their knowledge of the destination is to transform into belief.

It’s incumbent upon you, then, to construct a compelling picture of where you are leading your followers. As managers and leaders, we must always be aware of the difference between knowledge and belief. If you want to be an effective manager or leader, you must be able to transform knowledge into belief.

Second, organizational behavior is controlled through organizational culture. And, that culture is going to include a stated or unstated list of required values and desired behaviors. As an example, one of those values and desired behaviors may be truth telling, as in “we always tell the truth to customers, colleagues, and ourselves.”

In today’s diverse world, you can’t simply assume that everyone believes in the truth telling value. For example, in the Judeo-Christian worldview, lying is usually condemned. But, in other worldviews telling the truth is merely a guideline and, in some circumstances, strategic lying is celebrated.

So, what do your team members believe? Don’t assume that simply promulgating and educating people about the organizations values is going to govern behavior when the rubber meets the road. I can tell you, without hesitation, belief will win over knowledge every time! Ethically intelligent leaders believe and value this difference!

Start learning the difference here. Learn more about ethical intelligence here.