Stand out as a leader by building solid foundations of trust with your teams, your clients and your networks in a landscape that clearly seems to be both lacking in it and craving more of it. So how do most successful leaders build trust ?
‘Position and authority will give you followers, but trust will make you a leader’ – Aubrey McGowan
No matter where we turn, trust seems to be on the decline. Barely a day goes by where we don’t hear of a broken promise, contract or principle. Trust, which is widely regarded as the glue to any relationship, appears to be at crisis levels for many individuals and organisations today. In fact recent statistics suggest that only 47% of employees trust senior management and only 32% believe CEO’s to be a credible source of information. (source: Centre for Organisational Excellence)
This lack of trust represents a leadership crisis of monumental proportions. When we don’t believe those around us it not only sets in motion a tidal wave of negative attitudes and emotions, it actually significantly impacts our ways of thinking and behaving. So much so that it can easily become the biggest blocker to us achieving our goals.
It does however provide you as a leader with a brilliant opportunity to stand out from the crowd by building solid foundations of trust with your teams, your clients and your networks in a landscape that clearly seems to be both lacking in it and craving more of it.
I love Stephen Covey’s analogy of trust as a tax or a dividend: When there is a lack of trust in a relationship or organization, it is like a hidden tax that is placed on every transaction, piece of communication, decision and strategy, which brings speed down and sends costs up. By contrast, individuals and companies that operate with high levels of trust reap the benefits of a dividend that enables them to succeed by multiplying performance, productivity and capability.
Lack of trust therefore has the capacity to literally double the cost of doing business and triple the delivery timeframes; where as high trust has the capacity to not only significantly save time, money and angst but also deepen relationships, build greater collaboration, career fulfilment and success for all involved.
For leaders, trust is two fold. You need to be able to engender it and you need to be able to give it. Without both, true success cannot be achieved. The most successful leaders recognise this and focus on creating it as a core objective. They make it a priority to build confidence in their:
Employees, customers and clients are simply asking the question – Can I trust you to deliver what you set out to promise and in a way that is honest and ethical?
Successful leaders understand that to gain trust you must also give it. They recognise that there is always a risk when giving trust and don’t deny the past or ignore the possibility of future results. They weigh up the risks and benefits before giving it and when they do, they ensure that they have established the right environment and frameworks to support and manage successful outcomes. They know when to step in and when to step away – and most importantly how to do it.
So how do the most successful leaders build trust?
Trust is not just a nice-to-have. It is a critical component of personal, team and organizational performance. It is a clear enabler of success and one that underpins your leadership skill set and true capability.
The logic is pretty simple: if people trust you and that trust is reciprocated, they will give you their all.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts below.
Margot – The Career Diplomat
The roots of courageous leadership are firmly planted in self awareness, ownership and accountability.
Work on strengthening two different aspects of resilience.
When at a career crossroads, give yourself room to imagine what’s possible without any guilt.
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