Trust is the stuff that holds people together. It protects us from all sorts of daily calamities and allows us to move forward without always having to look over our shoulders. If we can’t trust the people closest to us, family, friends and co-workers then it becomes almost impossible to lead a satisfying life. Trust isn’t just another word, it’s not an idealistic goal which can’t be obtained in “real life.” Trust – or a lack of it – matters and it matters in everything we do and say.
If people are to have healthy relationships, trust must be more than something that is talked about; it must be at the center of everything they do. In business it’s trust that make the “relationship” in a business relationship possible.
Trust is the foundation of all effective leadership; if your people can’t trust you they absolutely will not follow you. They may give the appearance of following you but real trust will take the leader/follower relationship past appearances into true commitment. When your people are committed to you great stuff happens. Morale improves, problems are solved, productivity increases and more leaders are developed.
You can buy yourself a dog but you must earn the wag of its tail. It’s the same with trust, a leader can hire, pay and promote an employee but the trust must still be earned. It must be earned and re-earned every day. When a leader violates the trust of their people the fabric of the organization becomes torn and over time, often very little time, the morale of the organization erodes away.
When a leader does what they say they will, credibility follows. When credibility is present, integrity can grow. When integrity grows, trust flourishes.
Effective leaders don’t let trust happen, they make trust happen. They proactively demonstrate trust by making certain that their words match their actions. They hold themselves to a higher standard than others; quickly admitting to a mistake and accepting often more than the responsibility due.
Effective leaders know they don’t earn trust by leading, they must earn the trust before they can lead. Effective leaders trust others and show it by giving them the opportunity to succeed.
What have you done in the past 30 days to earn the trust of those you would lead? It’s a question that great leaders ask themselves and ask themselves often. So…..