Whatever You Do, Don't Betray Their Trust

Lately it seems as if I can’t go a single day without reading or hearing about a public figure who, in some way, has committed one of the cardinal sins of leadership; betraying the trust of their followers. Leaders in the worlds of business, education, athletics, religion, government, and the like, are all getting in on the act. With each new transgression comes an overwhelming wave of shock, anger, disappointment, and disillusionment from those who once trusted these leaders.
Witnessing how these scenarios play out in front of millions is a fascinating, and frightening, learning opportunity. Generally speaking, I tend to be pretty understanding and forgiving; after all, we all make mistakes. However, a quick scan of the message boards or favorite social media sites prove that not everyone is as quick to forgive and forget.
What’s abundantly clear is that we typically hold our leaders to very high standards. This is true at all levels of leadership. You don’t have to be an elected public official to recognize the importance of building trust as a leader. I think most of us would agree that a leader is only as good as their team. But if there is no trust, the ‘team’ is not likely to be much more than a group of demotivated, self-interested individuals.
In her new book 42 Rules for Your New Leadership Role, Pam Fox Rollin writes, “Earning and keeping the trust of your team is one of your most important challenges as a leader.” She continues, “Your team members will give you the goods only to the degree they trust you to act in their best interests.”
Therefore, if you aspire to be an effective and well-respected leader, make sure to establish a strong foundation of trust with those you lead by acting not only in your own best interests, but in the best interests of those you lead.
To learn more about how to build trust, click here to Download Building Trust.

3 thoughts on “Whatever You Do, Don't Betray Their Trust

  1. Adam – Thanks for the insightful article. The importance of building trust with your followers cannot be underestimated, particularly for emerging leaders just starting out on their leadership journeys.

  2. Thanks, Adam, for teeing up the critical issue of trust at work and placing it in context. When we see a string of public leaders act in ways that are spectacularly self-serving despite the risk of damage to their organizations, families, and own futures, we can’t help but wonder if our colleagues and bosses are trustwothy. This inceases the value for leaders of being consistent in acting in ways that earn trust.

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