Integrity is the single most important ingredient for Authentic Leadership. From integrity springs trust and absent trust there can be no actual followership. For a leader to truly lead they need the commitment of the people they lead.
People cannot commit to someone they do not trust. It is emotionally impossible. When people trust their leaders, they are more likely to be engaged, productive, and willing to go the extra mile.
There are many things that leaders can do to build trust, here are a few of them.
- Be honest and transparent. Leaders should always be honest with their people, even when it is difficult. They should also be transparent about their decision-making process and why they are making the decisions they are making.
- Be consistent. Leaders should always follow through on their promises and commitments. If they say they are going to do something, they should do it.
- Be fair and just. Leaders should treat all of their people fairly and justly, regardless of their personal feelings or opinions. Whether you like them or not has nothing to do with leading them.
- Be open to feedback. Leaders should be willing to listen to feedback from their people, even if it is negative. They should also be willing to make changes based on feedback.
- Be supportive. Leaders should be supportive of their people, both professionally and personally. They should be there to help them succeed and to provide them with the resources they need to do their jobs.
- Be humble. Leaders should be humble and recognize that they do not have all the answers. They should be willing to learn from anyone and to admit when they are wrong.
Building trust takes time and effort, but it is worth it. When people trust their leaders, they commit to them. It’s a fool’s errand to try and get people to commit to a company or brand. People can only truly commit to other people. Absent trust, there simply can be no commitment.
So here are some additional tips for building trust as a leader.
- Get to know your people. Invest the time to get to know them on a personal level. This will help you build relationships with them and to understand their needs and concerns.
- Delegate tasks and responsibilities. When you delegate tasks and responsibilities to your team, you are showing them that you trust them. This will help build their confidence and make them feel valued.
- Recognize and reward good work. When your people do a good job, be sure to recognize and reward them. This will show them that you appreciate their hard work and that you are committed to their success.
- Be a role model. As a leader you’re leading by example whether you know it or not. Whether you intend to or not. Leaders should set a good example for their people. This means being honest, ethical, and responsible. ALL THE TIME. It also means being someone that your people can look up to and respect.
Building trust is critical if you hope to be a successful leader. By following these suggestions, you can build trust with your people and create a culture of caring honesty and growth.