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Can you trust your leaders?

Written by on 18 October 2010

Everyday, the papers are full of stories of corporate greed and mistrust. But, the question must be asked, “can you trust your boss?”

This is a critical leadership issue.

Why is trust important?

If individuals do not trust their leaders, they will question their motivations and almost every decision they make. When trust is lost, people begin to resent their leaders and they look for fault and in some cases, celebrate setbacks. This can be extremely destructive and has a significant impact on organisational performance.

What happens when people do not trust their leaders?

When leaders are not trusted, people feel insecure and threatened. They will comply with direction on the surface but then do little to commit to making the decisions a success. Individuals become afraid to make decisions and then, decision myopia settles across the organisation. As resentment builds, you need to pay high rates in order to keep people who generally do not perform to their full potential.

How to build trust

Building trust takes time. It is best measured by leaders examples. Do they do what they say they will? Are their decisions fair and legitimate? Do they have integrity and are they willing to stick their necks out for what they believe in? Understanding what your leaders believe in, what they hold in high esteem and what they will not compromise on is very important. By understanding your leaders values, you gain better insight into what is acceptable and required within an organisation.

Sustaining trust

Trust can only be built and sustained by leaders who promote and offer trust. They must ‘walk the walk’ and be committed to living their lives by values that are transparent and communicated to all!

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