One of my favorite books this year so far has been “The Speed of Trust” by Stephen M.R. Covey and Rebecca R. Merrill. They reference one thing in common to everyone, (especially Leaders) and if removed will divide a team, destroy a government, ruin relationships, and cause most businesses to fail.
Yet, if nurtured and leveraged can create incredible growth, a strong culture and success in all areas of your business.
This one thing is TRUST.
According to Covey and Merrill, there are five waves of trust that have to occur in order to be a successful leader.
If you aspire to be a phenomenal leader, I strongly encourage you to read the Cliff’s Notes from my learning and reach out if you want to discuss the topic in more detail.
The Five Waves of Trust in Leadership
The First Wave: Self Trust
Great Leadership starts by your willingness to learn and I suggest you start by answering the following questions. Do you possess the ability to set and achieve goals? Do you keep your commitments? Do you walk your talk? Do you inspire trust in others?
In order to gain trust, you must have credibility and be believable.
The four cores of credibility that are derived from character and competence, which cause others to find you credible and believable are noted below:
- Integrity. This is about being honest and walking your talk. It is being consistent inside and out even when others are not watching. A CEO who tells their employees one thing but then does another will build resentment and lack of trust in their leadership.
- Intent. Our motives and agendas are our intent. Trust grows when we genuinely care about others and strive to benefit all parties involved. Suspecting hidden agendas from a leader leads to suspicion and distrust.
- Capabilities. These are the abilities that we possess such as skills, knowledge, talents, and gifts. Would you trust a pilot that did not have the knowledge to fly a plane?
- Results. Our performance and track record demonstrate our results. When we follow through with our commitments and achieve the results we set out to accomplish, trust is built.
The Second Wave: Relational Trust
Relational Trust is grounded in consistent behaviors. There are 13 key behaviors common in all high-trust leaders. These behaviors are actionable and universal and have been proven to establish trusting relationships in thriving civilizations throughout history.
The 13 behaviors are:
- Straight Talk.
- Demonstrate Respect.
- Create Transparency.
- Right Wrongs.
- Show Loyalty.
- Deliver Results.
- Get Better.
- Confront Reality.
- Clarify Expectations.
- Practice Accountability.
- Listen First.
- Keep Commitments.
- Extend Trust.
The Third Wave: Organizational Trust
Organizational Trust is about establishing trust with your company’s internal stakeholders. This wave relies upon alignment. That is to say, the team should be in alignment with the Leader. You, as the Leader, have a responsibility to ensure that everyone on the team is in alignment – that you are all singing off the same hymn page, so to speak.
The Fourth Wave: Market Trust
Market Trust is about trust with the external stakeholders. This is created by reputation. Your brand represents your reputation. Look at familiar logos you know. They most likely invoke a certain feeling in you, one of trust or distrust. Take a look at your organization and ask the following questions: What would your market say about your organization? Do they find a consistent demonstration of an organization worth trusting? What is your brand communicating to them?
The Fifth Wave: Societal Trust
Societal Trust is built through contributions to society. People are watching how companies give and grow as a part of the larger picture that is our world. So, as a leader, have you set your company culture up to be one of meaning and purpose? How does your company reach out in your community? What do you have in place that demonstrates giving?
Now is the perfect time of the year to take a step back and evaluate these 5 waves of trust both individually as a leader and as an organization. Define areas to improve, set specific action steps, put them into action and enjoy the journey of demonstrating phenomenal leadership.