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The Importance Of Trust In Leadership

1033 words - 4 pages

We all have studied great leaders and when asked, we can cite their names and quote them in an instant. However, most certainly, we can also think of someone we would describe as a bad leader. The common trait among the bad leaders that I have worked with was their lack of trustworthiness. These leaders were deemed untrustworthy because they would tell people what they wanted to hear, not the truth. They would articulate one thing to one employee and something else to another employee. They would pass their employee’s work off as their own. And they would exclude team members from important meetings and decisions. Therefore, as a result of these negative behaviors, no longer was I able to grant them the benefit of the doubt and I began to assume everything they did had a self-serving agenda (Cone, 2007). Trustworthy leaders are imperative to the success of any organization. Consistent display of honest communication, loyalty, confidence, integrity, and personal accountability, just to name a few, must be present in a leader for them to be deemed trustworthy. Leaders without these traits will find it difficult, if not impossible, to guide or inspire anyone.
Trust is something that is built over time between people in a relationship. Whenever we choose to trust someone or something, we are giving them something of immeasurable value (Cone, 2007). As I reflect on the behavior of one of my negative leaders, there are many reasons why I think he acted in an untrustworthy way. The most important thing to him was his personal image. He openly talked about how essential it was for him to wear the right clothes, drive the right car, and live in the right neighborhood because of how he would be perceived if he did not. Keeping this in mind, I believe his leadership style followed suit. He cared so deeply about his own appearance he would go to any lengths to make sure it was not tarnished, even if it meant passing his employee’s work off as his own. This was a sure sign of his lack of integrity and loyalty. His dishonesty was a direct result of his unwillingness to admit what he did was wrong. Withholding information from team members was also a trait this leader employed. O’Toole and Bennis (2009) stated that “Leaders try to hoard and control information because they believe it is a source of power” (p. 11). I consider this to be true for this specific leader. He would deliberately hoard information so that others would not have the same knowledge as he. Again, this deceitful act was an indication of his lack of communicating honestly and his lack of integrity. True leaders are selfless not self-serving (Mckinney, 2000/2009). This leader was putting his own success above all else, therefore I could not put my trust in him.
A leader cannot be successful without building a trusting rapport with their followers. Without trust, a leader will be unsuccessful motivating and influencing employees to follow them. People will...

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