“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ~Ernest Hemingway
According to Steven Covey, “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that upholds all relationships”. Trust is crucial in the leadership process. In fact, trust is required for effective leadership. Trust can be described simply by comparing it to pocket change. Every right decision puts change in your pocket. Every poor decision takes change from your pocket. The key is to increase your pocket change, rather than always paying it out. Sure we all make mistakes. And each mistake cost us some coins from our pocket. However, employees are tolerant of mistakes as long as we are transparent, quick to humility and strive to regain their confidence.
In his book, Leadership 101, John Maxwell shares three qualities a leader must exhibit to gain trust; competence, connection and character. Violate any one of these three qualities, and you will lose the trust of those who follow. Trust is doing what’s right because it’s right. Mackey and Sisodia state in their book, Conscious Capitalism; “the right actions undertaken for the right reasons generally lead to good outcomes over time.” I don’t think anyone can remain a leader if he or she continues to make poor decisions and break the trust of employees. When we break trust, we damage the relationship. Relationships can be repaired, but with much work and effort.
In fact, a leader can’t be a leader if there is no trust because trust leads to influence. If people don’t trust you, you can’t have influence. Without influence, you can’t lead.
Build sincere relationships and out of your sincerity, will come trust. Only then will you be able to influence and achieve effective leadership.