Can I Trust You?: Developing Strong Leadership


Gaining Trust in Your Leadership

Famed leadership author John Maxwell is often heard talking about building trust as a leader. He says that followers ask three question of their leaders; “Do you care for me? Can you help me? Can I trust you?” 

When searching the word “trust” on Google.com, one finds nearly four billion results. Amazing! Things like how to build trust, how to lose it, and definitions with the normal callings for authenticity, openness, congruence of word and action, selflessness, and much more. Learners are left with list after list of how and what things to do in order to create trust! And off they go to build trust. Check!

And yet, despite their greatest intentions, they still suffer from followers who do not trust. Why? These leaders seldom spend time on what the follower is really thinking. A leader’s every action and every word is depicted, deciphered and ultimately judged. A judgment yielding a rating of either trust or distrust. So, how are they determining if they trust the leadership or not?

The answer is somewhere near the notion of benevolence. Remember, Maxwell’s other two questions are Do you care for me? and Can you help me? They seem to be looking for the leader’s motivations. Why is the leader saying what they are saying? Why are they doing what they are doing? What is driving these decisions? Friedrich Nietzsche is noted for saying “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

It comes down to the idea of knowing the leader. And, they cannot know the leader unless they have a relationship with them as their leader. Therefore, trust rests on the back of relationships.  The better the relationship, the better followers understand the ‘why’ behind decisions and actions.

Bestselling author Simon Sinek says people should work from their ‘why.’ [His] why “is to inspire people to do the things that inspire them so, together, each of us can change our world for the better. Now I can do that in a million ways: I can write a book. I can give a talk. I can give advice to someone. That’s who I am as a friend. That’s who I am as a brother. That’s who I am as a son. It’s who I am. And my opportunity is to find the creative ways in which I can bring who I am and inject life into it.”

Imagine if Simon was your boss. Wouldn’t it be easier to trust him knowing what drives him (his why)? Want to create more trust with your people? Work on building relationships with them. Let them see and know your ‘WHY.’ 

Being authentic and transparent are just two aspects of being an influential leader. At Vetergy we understand that good leadership is the cornerstone to operational resilience. No program will realize its full value without the commitment, resolve and example established by all levels of leadership.

Learn more about the Vetergy’s leadership development methodologies here.

Have some thoughts on this leadership article you’d like to share? Let us hear from you below!


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