Four Leadership Behaviors that Build or Destroy Trust

Join The Ken Blanchard Companies for a complimentary webinar and online chat beginning today at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time (12:00 noon Eastern).  Trust Practice Leader Randy Conley will be discussing strategies for leaders in a special presentation on Four Leadership Behaviors that Build or Destroy Trust.

The webinar is free and seats are still available if you would like to join over 600 people expected to participate.

Immediately after the webinar, Randy will be answering follow-up questions here at LeaderChat for about 30 minutes.  To participate in the follow-up discussion, use these simple instructions.

Instructions for Participating in the Online Chat

  • Click on the LEAVE A COMMENT link above
  • Type in your question

It’s as easy as that!  Randy will answer as many questions as possible in the order they are received.  Be sure to press F5 to refresh your screen occasionally to see the latest responses.

We hope you can join us later today for this special complimentary event courtesy of Cisco WebEx and The Ken Blanchard Companies.  Four Leadership Behaviors that Build or Destroy Trust recording.

21 thoughts on “Four Leadership Behaviors that Build or Destroy Trust

  1. Will a transcript of the call be made available? I had planned to attend but I am unable to now… 🙁

  2. Amazing webinar! Such a timely topic for my organization right now. There are so many trustbusters that have happened lately and I’m thankful for the ABCD model in order to help begin rebuilding in my organization.

    • A couple of books I would recommend are “Trust: The Social Virtues and The Creation of Prosperity” by Francis Fukuyama, “The Speed of Trust” by Stephen M.R. Covey, and “Trust & Betrayal in the Workplace” by Dennis & Michelle Reina.

      And….be on the lookout for Ken Blanchard’s new book about trust in 2012!

  3. Randy & David, Thank you very much for a great webinar. At one point in the session, you mentioned a study that I think measured trust on five points. Can you share what that study was and if you’re aware of its availability anywhere? Thanks!

    • Hi Michele. The study I referenced was “The High Cost of Lost Trust” by Tony Simons, HBR article (2002). If you search HBR’s website you’ll be able to find it. Remember, TrustWorks!

    • Great question. I think the first step is introducing people to the ABCD Trust Model and getting everyone familiar with the language and use of the model. From that point you can start assessing the particular situations and creating an action plan to address specific elements of trust.

  4. Thanks for the sharing in your webinar.
    I had asked two questions during the webinar, which were not answered for paucity of time.
    Here they are:
    1. Can you names three leaders from the corporate world who demonstrate the ABCD model?
    2. Can you share a model calendar that will help me implement ABCD within my team?

    • Hello Prabodh. Well known leaders that come to mind that exhibit use of the ABCD model are Colleen Barrett, President Emeritus of Southwest Airlines, Garry Ridge, CEO of WD-40, and Bill George, formerly CEO of Medtronic,now a professor at Harvard.

      In terms of a calendar of implementing ABCD, I would suggest first starting with exposing people in your organization to the model and language and from that point doing assessments of particular situations and identifying specific elements of trust to focus upon. Feel free to contact us if we can help you with the process.

      Best regards,


  5. Hi Randy, There was an interesting observation in the poll you conducted–our audience identified B–Believable as the most important yet someone pointed out that if they were looking for a surgeon, A-Ability would be more important in that case. Your thoughts?

    • This was a great observation Dave. I’ve used that same analogy when speaking to groups about trust. If you were going in for surgery, would you rather have a surgeon who has a track record of success (the Able element of the ABCD model), or would you rather have the surgeon with the best bedside manner (the Connected element of ABCD)? I’d choose Able every time!

      We made this point in the webinar that each of the elements of trust, Able, Believable, Connected, and Dependable, are all equally important and need to be present in some form or fashion in a relationship. But as our example illustrates, the context of the relationship can have an impact as to what element of trust plays a larger role in developing/maintaining the level of trust in the relationship.

    • Hello David. Building trust with the group is always a critically important step for a new leader, or even an experienced leader who is new to the team. I would suggest a few things:

      1. Speak less and listen more – Get a feel for the group, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and survey the landscape before you rush in making decisions. Check out a recent blog article I wrote about this (
      2. Make sure you practice the ABCD’s of the trust model. Especially early on in the relationship, I think it’s important for leaders to be a person of his/her word and follow through on commitments. That will establish an early track record of success with the group.
      3. Be clear on your own leadership point of view…what motivates you as a leader, what you expect from yourself and others, what your beliefs are about leading people. And then share that with the team. I think it’s important for both parties to have clear expectations of their relationship.

      Hope that’s helpful.


  6. HI Randy and David,
    In the webnair you identified three levels of trust
    1. Deterent based trust
    2.Knowledge based trust
    and #3 — i missed.
    Could you tell me please the label for the third level and where or from whom this model is from.
    I enjoyed the webnair

    • Hello Mike. The third level of trust was “identification-based” trust. It’s from research done by Sheppard & Tuchinsky in “Trust in Organizations: Frontiers of the Theory and Research” (edited by Roderick Kramer).

      Best regards,


      • Hi Randy,
        Thank you. The explaination of identification-based trust of being respectful of an individuals goals, aspirations and hopes and fears transported me to a very persistent and damaging behavior I have seen in a few organizations of low trust and partnerships.

        I have had experience with individuals (particularily in partnerships disputes I have worked with) that start out using agreements or negoiatied resolutions to issues as a suggested tool for cooperation or collaboration.

        However, one of the individuals, then uses disclosures from the other party or parties involved during the dialogue in reaching a common position as weapons against them by interpreting the slightest variance from the letter of the agreement as a violation of trust and making public more private disclosure about hopes and fears goals in criticisim of the other parties. This action turns the agreement process from a tool for win/win to a win/lose, in their favour on the short run. The agreement is then transformed from a tool to a weapon.

        In the longer run this violiation of identification-based trust becomes a lose / lose as the “details” of a working agreement become more important then the “intent”. Subsequently, individuals do not want to work with this person although the Deterent and Knowledge level – trust appear to be in place to outsiders. That last level of trust you spoke of identification-based level of trust has been violated.

        I have found that finanicial struggles and difficult staffing decisions that polarize teams or partnerships then tend to slide to a “have a slow motion blow-up on this breach” as what appears to be a “reasonable agreements ” from the outside are being used as a interpersonal weapon usually by one party to skew the agreement between the parties.

        To date, I have not found, a means to resolve this situation even after the pattern has been clearly identified and documented. The least damaging and some what civil separation of parties has been best I have been able to achieve so far. I am open to suggestion, and as always preventitive measures. I figure an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


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