Leaders, Build Your Success on Trust

Successful leadership is not as complicated as it’s made out to be.

Leadership can be a complex endeavor— but it doesn’t have to be. People tend to make things more convoluted than they need to be. To prove the point, go to Amazon.com and search their book listings for the word “leadership.” More than 180,000 entries will come up.

Browsing the titles of some popular best-sellers might lead some to believe that to be a successful leader, they need to find the magical keys, take the right steps, follow the proper laws, figure out the dysfunctions, embrace the challenge, ascend the levels, look within themselves, look outside themselves, form a tribe, develop the right habits, know the rules, break the rules, be obsessed, learn the new science, or discover the ancient wisdom. In other words, overcomplicate things.

What if successful leadership isn’t really that complicated? What if there is just one thing — not a title, power or position — that determines whether people followed a leader? What if one aspect of leadership is a non-negotiable, must-have characteristic that needs to be in place for people to pledge their loyalty and commitment to a leader? What if one single element defines how people experience working for a leader? Can it really be as simple as one thing?

Yes. And that one thing is trust. It’s the foundation of any successful, healthy and thriving relationship. Without it, leadership is doomed. Creativity is stifled, innovation grinds to a halt, and reasoned risk-taking is abandoned. Without trust, direct reports check their hearts and minds at the door, leaving managers with staff who have quit mentally and emotionally but stayed on the payroll, sucking precious resources from the organization.

Before anyone will buy from you they have to Know, Like, and Trust You.  To find out how to build this rapport click here.

Trust, the Missing Link

With trust, all things are possible. Energy, progress, productivity and ingenuity flourish. Commitment, engagement, loyalty and excellence become more than empty words in a company mission statement; they become reality.

Trust can be the magic ingredient in organizational life. It simultaneously acts as the bonding agent that holds everything together and as the lubricant that keeps things moving smoothly. Stephen M.R. Covey, author of “Speed of Trust,” said that while high trust won’t necessarily rescue a poor strategy, low trust will almost always derail a good one.

Trust is essential for leadership success.  Leaders have to build trust at the interpersonal level before it can radiate out to teams and affect your organization’s sales force.

Karen Adams is president and CEO of Alberta Pension Services in Canada, which administers pension services for Alberta’s public sector pension plans.

“Trust is established between two people over time,” she said. “You can’t build trust with a team, although many people talk about teams in this way. The way you build trust is through one-on-one relationships, individual to individual.

Trust doesn’t come easy, however, and it doesn’t happen by accident. It’s a characteristic of advanced leadership that leaders must continually work to maintain.

The Mechanics of Trust

The ABCD Trust Model is a helpful tool to provide a common language and framework to understand four elements of trust and specific behaviors associated with trustworthy leaders.

Leaders build trust when they are:

Able: Being able is about demonstrating capability. One way that leaders demonstrate their capability is by having the expertise needed to do their jobs. Expertise comes from possessing the right skills, education or credentials to establish credibility with others. Leaders also demonstrate their capability when they achieve results. Consistently meeting goals and having a track record of success builds trust with others and inspires confidence in a leader’s ability.

Believable:A believable leader acts with integrity. Dealing with people in an honest fashion by keeping promises, not lying or stretching the truth and not gossiping demonstrates integrity. Believable leaders also have a clear set of values that they articulate to their teams, and they behave consistently with those values — they walk the talk.

Connected: Connected leaders show care and concern for people, which builds trust and helps create a long lasting team. Leaders create a sense of connection by openly sharing information about themselves; their struggles, failures, and successes. Leaders also build trust by having a people-first mentality and building rapport with those they lead. Taking an interest in people as individuals, not nameless workers, shows that leaders value and respect their team members. Recognition is a vital component of being a connected leader, and praising and rewarding their teams contributions builds trust and goodwill.

Dependable:Being dependable and maintaining reliability is the fourth element of trustworthiness. One of the quickest ways leaders can erode trust is by not following through on commitments. Conversely, leaders who do what they say will earn a reputation of being consistent and trustworthy. Maintaining reliability requires leaders to be organized so that they can follow through on commitments, be on time for appointments and meetings, and get back to people in a timely fashion. Dependable leaders also hold themselves and others accountable for following through on commitments and taking responsibility for their work.

The Value of Trust

Beyond the financial benefits, high levels of trust between leaders and their teams is to foster engagement and vitality in an organization’s culture.

It would be an oversimplification to state that trust is the only requirement for leadership success. Leadership is a complex recipe that requires many ingredients, but trust is one must-have factor.

Do you have it?  Do you want to know some tools and tips on how to build trust with your teams?

If so, get my Attraction Marketing ebook where you will get the foundational information you need to be that person that your customers Know, Like, and Trust that will make them comfortable purchasing from you.

Here’s to Building Trust!

Cecelia Morris



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