Trust

There are many facets to being a leader who inspires others with their security.  A secure leader understands the most critical factors in building a team of people that will follow with enthusiasm.  Often times when people are reluctant to cooperate with leaders, the tendency is to think there is something wrong with the team environment.  Perhaps, more accurately, the issue is rooted in the heart of the leader.  Should the team change, or should the leader make adjustments? 

People exhibit reluctance to cooperate when they lack trust in their leader.  Yet, what if a leader demonstrates a tenacious focus on what builds trust instead of concentrating their efforts on changing others?  Can this help to achieve the desired results?

Trust is crucial.  A leader’s trust deposits are invested deliberately and thoughtfully over time, so that periodic and unintentional “withdrawals” can be tolerated.  But, where there is a lack of trust deposits, mistakes and oversights can be catastrophic and fatal to a leader and his or her team environment.  In an environment of insecure leadership, people are less inclined to cooperate and problems are less likely to get resolved.

How does a leader build trust?  It is exemplified in humility, self-awareness, transparency and honesty.

Trust is gained when leaders respectfully and compassionately journey with people down roads that others would not travel.  Leaders invest trust deposits by doing what they say they will do and by keeping their commitments with integrity.  Epitomizing a passion for a vision that excites and energizes cultivates trust.  Furthermore, trust is created in an environment where creative ideas are encouraged and receptiveness to the ideas of others is extolled. 

Recently, I had an inspiring conversation with Mike Hayes, a Maxwell certified coach and committed Christian layman.  In the context of our discussion about trust, Mike offered the following comments, each word bursting with powerful and provocative truth.  He said, “Building trust through times of transformation is critical to a leader’s success and the continuing health of the church or organization.  When there is a foundation of trust that is built over time, it allows for healthy conflict, greater engagement, higher commitment and accountability, and a focus on achieving results in the context of a shared meaningful purpose.” 

As leaders, may we continue to do whatever is necessary in our contexts to build trust rather than preoccupy ourselves with what we think others should do to change or to be more supportive.  If trust is built, others are more likely to get on board.