Trust Trumps Fear

Do you have people in your organisation who don’t or won’t make decisions? Is there a lack of ideas? It’s almost as if they’re afraid. What you may need is more trust. ‘Trust trumps fear’ all day!

A recent YPO Global Pulse Survey of thousands of CEOs showed that, nearly all (96%) of leaders rate building and maintaining trust with stakeholders a high priority, with nearly half (42%) saying the importance they place on building trust with stakeholders has increased in the past five years.

Business leadership is facing a new frontier. Leaders are under pressure to demonstrate transparency and trustworthiness to a wide range of stakeholders. Forward-thinking business leaders are moving away from the traditional, command-and-control style of leadership toward a new, people-centered approach. Gaining stakeholders’ trust has become a clear priority.

Although leaders today recognize the importance of stakeholder trust for business success, they also report building and maintaining trust is no easy task. Competing priorities, lack of time, and lack of alignment within senior leadership threaten the effectiveness of trust-building efforts. I think there is no doubt that the leaders of the future will define, measure, and scale trust, within and outside of their organization, with determination and enthusiasm.

Transparency builds trust, and a willingness to be open, vulnerable and authentic goes a long way to building trust in a team and as an organisation. Demonstrating this as a leader, or as a leadership team, gives tacit permission for others to do the same. You set the tone of the culture and your behaviour becomes the standard others will walk by.

Communication is always at the top of any culture survey, so keep it coming. The problem with communication is the illusion that its taken place. More is better; be succinct and clear yes, but it’s hard to over communicate. What you communicate is also important, be genuine, open and transparent; no secrets, or ‘need to know’ policy, which often becomes weaponised in the hands of power orientated bureaucrats.

Empower people to build their own solutions, to collaborate and to innovate. Unlock the latent potential of your people through empowering them; yes with clear accountabilities, and you will build trust. That’s because you trust them! When you do that, trust is reciprocated. Be reasonable, open and fair, just as you’d like to be treated. That golden rule is over 2000 years old, yet still seems to work!

So what do you get when build trust? Engagement, and that leads to productivity, the holy grail of getting things done.


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