Definition of Trust:  A firm belief in the reliability, ability or strength of someone or something.

                         “Relations and relationships must be built on trust”

Synonyms: confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, credence, reliance.

The key component that I gather from the definition of trust; “good relationships are built on trust”.  So let’s explore the qualities that must exist to build trust in leadership.

Great companies have measurable evidence of organizational trust present with their employees, clients and customers. Employees have high confidence that their employer will perform acts that are beneficial and will be in the best of intentions steeped in integrity.  Organizational values and leadership principles focused on trust create relationships anchored in our word and our personal integrity supports all.

As I serve and lead individuals within companies; I stress living the qualities that create trust for those they lead.  As leaders we must become the role model of the behaviors we wish to see in those you lead.  They are watching us as we build trusting relationships inside and out of the organization.

Here is an acronym I was introduced to last year for building trust and creating believability with my own Aden Leadership twist on it:

  • Truth – Be truthful.  Period.  So what is so…always.
  • Relevance – Tell stories to create believability.  Don’t sell or tell…share.
  • Unselfishness – Be kind and considerate.  Have empathy for others.
  • Simplicity – Keep in simple. Use powerful examples.
  • Timing – It is everything.  Communicate in the now.  Stay current.

Ultimately are we believable and are we creating believability?  If you are telling the truth, the information is relevant and you are communication for the growth of others and your message is simple and timely then heck yes.

Just like everything I’ve published relative to leadership, it is not about you Mr/Mrs leader it is about those following you or watching you. If you communicate this was as a norm and care deeply about those around you then creating and maintaining trust won’t be difficult at all.

So why do so many companies struggle with this topic and why throughout various surveys does this topic come up?  My guess is that trust in general doesn’t get the attention it deserves and people “assume” everyone is doing their best and of course no one would lie.  The message here is not what NOT to do just as we wouldn’t remind our kids not to lie, we would reinforce the behavior we want to see and why!!

The focus is on simply being trustworthy and creating trust on all levels.  Does this take hard work?  Absolutely.  Decide to BE the example through your communication, actions and relationships and you will have the confidence, belief, faith and conviction from your team or organization.  The vision you have created and the values that support your mission depend on trust and the maintaining of these trust-based relationships.

Taking action to be the leader you want to be may be overwhelming at times.  Anything that is important is difficult.  Let me hear from you as to how you and your organization have been successful in building AND maintaining trust.

Thoughts from Your Servant Leader….

Greg