Trust Is Not Earned—It Has to Be Given

by | Nov 2, 2016 | Leadership, Trust

Joey Havens

During a recent conversation, someone said to me, “Just trust me.” My ears perked up immediately because my personal experience has been that “just trust me” individuals have turned out to be some of the most untrustworthy to deal with. I thought about that experience as I was preparing my self-evaluation this week and in my concluding remarks, I thanked our board for the trust they had given me. Their trust is paving the way for our firm to execute on an aggressive strategy for our growth.

Trust is a precious gift and it can always be given. We can be trustworthy, reliable and of high character but someone still has to make the personal decision to give us their trust. We can’t earn it because they always have to make the decision to give it to us. 

Stephen Covey said, “When trust is low, speed decreases and cost increases.” We have too many organizations today that are struggling with transforming their businesses because they have low trust. Transformation doesn’t come from micro-management or “No Mistakes” management styles.

If leaders want to enjoy the speed of trust, they must GIVE trust. We must extend trust first and be vulnerable to reap the benefits of our team’s commitment. Mistakes will be made but we can give trust again by “giving the benefit of good intentions.” For anyone to lead and influence others, you must believe in and trust your team members. 

If we have a low-trust environment, we can look inward first and foremost. Trust only grows when it starts with leadership giving it to the team. Have you freely given trust lately? The benefit of good intentions?  Don’t trust me, just give it a try. It will make a difference. 

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