Can you ever write and talk enough about trust? Probably not. It’s power is huge at work, at home, in communities, and more.
No wonder it is one of my Five Factors of Leadership and Team Success. Without trust, things just break down. And truthfully, trust doesn’t just happen. It is built and shaped over time in relationships by making and keeping commitments to each other. But where does it begin? With you.
A Leader’s Job is to Lead
Leaders set the example for people to follow. If you expect people to work hard, you should be a hard worker. If you expect your team to treat each other with respect, you need to respect each person yourself. People naturally model or pattern their behavior from their leaders. It works the same way with trust.
As a leader, you don’t have time to test everyone out before you trust them. If you want trust to exist in your teams, you need to lead out and extend trust first. As Stephen M. R. Covey says, “extending trust is what turns a manager into a leader.” His recent book, The Speed of Trust, is awesome by the way. You should read it.
Extending Trust Invites Reciprocity
When trust is extended, it invites the principle of reciprocity to come into effect. When we give something to someone else, there is a natural tendency for people to want to give something in return. Extending trust to individuals and teams powerfully invites reciprocity towards you and others around them.
Certainly, behind all of this, it is imperative that you are someone worthy of trusting. You have to tell the truth, do what you say you are going to do, be accountable and take responsibility, and more. But extending trust is truly what takes things to the next level and transforms the culture, feeling, and relationships around you.
Extending trust is how you empower people to do good work. Extending trust is how you delegate and focus on more important things. Extending trust is how you build people to be the next generation of leaders to replace you. Extending trust is how you build strong and resilient children.
Yes it is risky, but it’s 100% worth it.
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