Byron's Babbles

Leaders Trust First

“In the workplace, it’s your job as a leader to extend trust to your people first. It’s not their job to have blind faith in you simply by virtue of your power or position of power” (p. 81). I loved this from Randy Conley in Simple Truth #30 “Someone Must Make The First Move To Extend Trust. Leaders Go First.” I’ve always said you can’t workshop or activity trust. Trust has to be earned in real time work. We must first give our trust to find out if someone is trustworthy.

I think of this being like the first time I gave my son the keys to one of our vehicles after he got his drivers license and saying have a good time and please be careful. I had to trust that he would take the examples and teachings of his mother and me and put it to use as a good driver and make good choices. By the way, he earned our trust and six years later still has it. But it started with us trusting him and giving him the keys, first. I’ve always liked how Stephen M.R. Covey put it, “The job of a leader is to go first, to extend trust first. Not a blind trust without expectations and accountability, but rather a “smart trust” with clear expectations and strong accountability built into the process. The best leaders always lead out with a decided propensity to trust, as opposed to a propensity not to trust.” How about you? Are you ready to go first?

It’s As Easy As ABCD

As I dive into the second half of Simple Truths of Leadership: 52 Ways To Be A Servant Leader and Build Trust, Making Common Sense Common Practice, Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley, I’m thinking about how trust is a word we use a lot without always thinking about how trust works and why it’s so important in our lives. It really is a bridge or social glue that allows us to be vulnerable and become comfortable with doing something differently, trying something new, or dealing with uncertainty. In Simple Truth #28, “Building Trust Is A Skill That Can Be Learned And Developed,”Randy told us that trust is about learning and using the right behaviors, and then becoming better at building trust with practice.

I’ve heard Brené Brown say that trust isn’t built in grand gestures, but in the small moments that people treat what is important to you with care. This goes right along with the ABCD Model introduced in Simple Truths of Leadership to foster and grow relationships and communities built on trust. Here is the model (p. 77):

  • Able: demonstrate competence
  • Believable: act with integrity
  • Connected: show care and concern for others
  • Dependable: honor commitments

All these skills/qualities contribute to the degree of trust people have for each other. All can be developed and honed. Trust is an ongoing and symbiotic relationship. We need to keep working to get better at our close bonds of trust.