Trust, like respect, must be earned. It is earned slowly – and it can be broken quickly. A leader builds trust by being:

  • Trusting. You must be able to give your trust freely in order to receive trust in return. You must trust others so that you can delegate to them and empower them to reach for your vision. Trust generates trust.
  • Caring. You must be focused on the good of your people. They must know that you are concerned about them as individuals, not just as cogs in the organizational machine. People trust leaders who value them as human beings.
  • Authentic. You must be real, you must demonstrate integrity. If you are transparent and allow people to see, touch, and know the real you, then they will trust you.
  • Believable. You must demonstrate absolute honesty and deal squarely with people. Never lie to people. If they know that you say what you mean and mean what you say, they will trust you.
  • Dependable. If your people know that you keep promises and commitments, they will reward you with their own dependability and trust.
  • Selfless. Selfish people aren’t to be trusted – their motives are always suspect. When people know that you are focused on the team and the players and not on self, they will respond with selflessness and trust.

Paradox of Power by Pat Williams

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