Trust is absolutely essential and necessary to leadership.
But just how trustworthy are we? And can it be measured or gauged in real time?
Trust could sometimes be perceived as a quality a leader has or doesn’t have. Personally I’ve learned throughout my management experience defines trust as a being composed of a few key elements.
I have found that the four characteristics of a trustworthy leader must be:
- Personal Direction
“I repeat…that all power is a trust; that we are accountable for its exercise; that, from the people, and for the people, all springs, and all must exist.” ~Benjamin Disraeli
Let’s inspect the four characteristics of being a trustworthy leader!
- Being credible….. “Say what you do, do what you say.” You must be credible if you are asking others to follow you.
- Reliability measures “actions, and how dependable you appear.” Can you be counted on? People need to know that their leaders will come through for them.
- Intimacy suggests…”do your people feel safe sharing information with you.” So often leaders do keep their emotional distance from their followers, but when you are presented with confidential information, you need to keep it so.
- Personal direction…it is crucial to display a strong sense of self confidence and knowledge. However if being the ‘Pied Piper’ is all desire, then few will follow.
Assessing your own trustworthiness can be a bit prejudiced. Done in the good spirit of self-improvement, it can be an enlightening experience. For example, it may serve as a check on those of us who may think we are trustworthy, but perhaps may not be credible or reliable.
Or, on the contrary, we may be too self-absorbed to notice our deficiency.
Restricting your ‘personal-direction’ can dramatically improve one’s trustworthiness. For instance, try restraining talking about yourself with others to a minute or two. Don’t think less of yourself—just think of yourself less.
Trust is essential to developing relationships with individuals. Leaders who cannot inspire trust cannot lead; there will be no followership.
So it is something not simply to value, but to practice. Every day!
Dean DeSantis is a business Growth Strategist at Intelligencer Printing
He helps to increase market share, outperform competition, and increase profits
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