Leadership is built on trust. What are you doing to build that trust?
to enable trust?

Leadership is built on trust. What are you doing to build that trust? to enable trust?

Leadership is built on trust. What are you doing to build that trust?
to enable trust?

Trust is difficult to win but hard to lose. This maxim is true according to the old saying. It is a never-ending task to build trust, but it is well worth the effort if you are able to maintain it.

Whether you’re a leader, an individual contributor or even an organization — trust is the currency by which most relationships are formed and sustained. Trust is essential for almost every interaction.

Although there is no one way that will guarantee trust, here are the six essential elements to get started.

1. 1.

Being authentic means being genuine and true to yourself. People and brands that we consider authentic are more likely to connect with us. Those we perceive as fake can make it difficult for us to feel connected. Because authenticity resonates, it is because authenticity comes from a deeper feeling of the intention.

True authenticity is a key ingredient in gaining customer loyalty and brand recognition. Leaders who are authentic can also gain more freedom when making mistakes. We feel closer to the brand’s authenticity and more trust them. This is where stickiness happens, and people feel more connected to the brand. It transforms the transactional experience into something personal.

It requires authenticity and courage. Many leaders fear doing or saying the wrong thing. Mellody Hobson, President and co-CEO of Ariel Investments says “Bravery is not the absence of fear, it is overcoming it.” Leadership is about being authentic and stepping into the unknown.


Being objective is another aspect of trust building. It’s much easier for people to perceive people or organizations as trustworthy brokers. This makes it easy to hear and understand the messages.

Consider the expression, “Reputable source” — The source is trustworthy, usually backed by evidence, and many agree it is true. It is a sign of credibility, and can go a long ways in building brand and business goodwill.

When applied internally, objectivity is like fairness. Employees want to feel that the company treats them fairly and offers opportunities for all. When there are feelings of unfairness and subjectivity, people will vote with their feet and in a competitive job market, retaining staff is key.


People want consistency, along with trust and objectivity. For teams, organisations and stakeholders, erraticness could lead to undued anxiety or instability.

There were times when I was a manager who was extremely erratic. They would reverse previous decisions or contradict them. It made it hard for me to understand what I wanted. They were inconsistent, and it caused havoc in our group. It caused unnecessary swirl, which resulted to us not meeting our goals. We didn’t have an understanding of the expectations.

It is also known that erratic leadership can negatively impact stock prices. This can cause doubt about the future of the company, damage brand and discourage talent. Let’s look at WeWork’s former CEO, Adam Neumann — it’s well documented that his erratic behavior helped erode trust in WeWork’s future.

Markets like stability. People love consistency. It can provide psychological safety for employees because they know what to expect. Markets and partners also prefer consistency, as it is less risky than a volatile world.


Then there’s something I call the cascade of vulnerability, where leaders more freely share which then creates space for greater dialogue, learning and candor. The cascade allows new ideas to come out and prevents the conversation from being shut down. Companies can grow by incorporating new ideas into their offerings and products.


A leader that is clear and communicative can help create alignment as well as awareness. Because audiences understand the requirements and can see where they are going, awareness is possible. Alignment allows them to understand when and how much collective effort is needed.

Think about how great communicators can incite people to take action. They listen, learn, project credibility, can control the space, channel compassion, and can even command calm.

Stephen Covey’s quote sums it all: “Trust is life’s glue.” Effective communication is only possible with trust. This is the basis principle of all relationships.

Inc.com columnsists’ opinions are not the views of Inc.com.

Publiated at Mon, 23 August 2021 08:01:52 +0000

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