- September 1, 2023
- Mark Miller
Can I Trust You?
People do not follow leaders they do not trust. If you and I are trustworthy, we’ve jumped a significant hurdle on the path to effective leadership. If we are not seen as trustworthy, no amount of skill will suffice. If your heart is not right, no one cares about your…
People do not follow leaders they do not trust. If you and I are trustworthy, we’ve jumped a significant hurdle on the path to effective leadership. If we are not seen as trustworthy, no amount of skill will suffice. If your heart is not right, no one cares about your skills. So the question is… How do you build trust?
Building trust is the same for the executive as it is for the first grader.
Here are some ideas to jump start your thinking:
Show up – This is not about mere physical presence. This is about how we show up. Be present in the moment. Be engaged. Contribute. Add value. How we show up makes a huge difference and communicates far more than we want to believe. If we do this well, it contributes to our trustworthiness.
Be prepared – Preparedness communicates interest. It communicates engagement. When we are not prepared, people think we don’t care. How many people do you trust who don’t care enough to prepare for a meeting or an event?
Do what you say you are going to do – It doesn’t get any more basic than this. Trust is more easily vested in men and women of integrity. If our words and actions are not aligned, this creates questions and gaps. These gaps erode trust very quickly.
Tell the truth – If you and I are going to garner followers, we must tell the truth. Deception is not congruent with a servant leader. Incongruence equals lack of trust, and rightly so. Our people deserve the truth.
Deliver with excellence – Incompetence never builds confidence or trust – neither does half-hearted effort. Leaders who do their jobs well are much easier to trust. If you consistently make bad decisions or cannot execute your assigned duties, you will eventually lose the trust of those around you.
Think others first – Servant leaders don’t think less of themselves, they just think of themselves less. If you believe a leader is looking out for your best interests, you are much more likely to trust him or her. On the flip side, if you think the leader is more concerned with his or her career and reputation than they are yours, trust is rarely given.
The bottom line – if you and I want to lead well, we must build trust. Trust doesn’t come with the office or the title; it is something earned over months, years and decades.
Invest the time and energy and become trustworthy!
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Mark Miller is a Wall Street Journal and international best-selling author, communicator, and the former Vice President of High Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. Mark’s leadership journey at Chick-fil-A spanned 45 years, and today, he serves as the Co-Founder of Lead Every Day. Mark began writing almost twenty years ago, and with over one million books in print in more than twenty-five languages, his global impact continues to grow.