All leadership is based on trust. If someone doesn’t trust you they simply will not be committed to truly following you. They might comply with you, they may do what you tell them to do, they may even kind of like you but they will not commit to you.
Building trust takes time. When I hear someone say “you must earn the right to lead” what I really think they are saying is “you need to build some trust before anyone will actually follow you.”
Authentic leaders know that their title or position does little in the way of building trust. People don’t trust titles, they don’t trust positions, and they don’t trust names. People trust people.
Trust building must be intentional. It must occur everyday. If you’re a leader, or someone in a leadership position then you should be aware that your people are watching you. They want to see if your actions match your words. They want to see if you honor your commitments, and not just to them, if they are going to trust you then they expect you to honor your commitments, period.
Every leader, every person really, has what I call a “credibility bank.” Every time we do what we say we will a small deposit is made into our bank. Every time we fail to do what we say will will a large withdrawal is taken from our bank.
If that doesn’t seem fair get over it. Building trust takes time and real trust doesn’t come easy for most people. The next time you’re tempted to blow off a commitment just remember your credibility bank and maybe the temptation will pass.
If trust building must be intentional as I’ve already said it must, then what and how do you plan to go about it. Seriously, I’m suggesting to you that you don’t just let trust happen, don’t just assume that people trust you. I’m suggesting that you become intentional in building trust.
Take tons of notes about the commitments you’ve made, block time on your calendar to honor those commitments. Return phone calls, answer emails, if you say you’ll do something then by any and all means possible, do it!
Virtually everything you say and do sends you to your credibility bank, the only questions is; will you be making a deposit or withdrawal?
Think about that for a while and then get busy adding to your credibility bank!