Invest in Trust!

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! 

7 thoughts on “Invest in Trust!

  1. Hi Steve –– Bravo!!! Your post is wonderful. I hope everyone takes the time to read it and heed your advice. Trust is the cement that binds relationships. Without trust, marriages fail, voters become apathetic, and organizations flounder. If you want someone’s trust, it must be earned. As you say, “Every leader, every person really, has what I call a ‘credibility bank.’ Every time we do what we say, a small deposit is made into our bank. Every time we fail to do what we say a large withdrawal is taken from our bank.” It’s important to remember that trust takes a long time to develop, but can be lost at the blink of an eye. Thanks for sharing this post with us. Have an awesome evening. Best, Frank

    • Thanks Frank. It is indeed amazing how quickly we can lose hard earned trust. I think it’s important to remember that EVERY human interaction adds to or subtracts from that credibility bank.

  2. The reason we ‘lose hard earned trust’ is because the foundation on which we built that trust was flawed. If we build the trust only to achieve a very selfish end, we will, I repeat, we will lose that trust. Build trust to build long term relations, it stays.

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