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Trust and Leadership – How Leaders Can Build and Sustain Trust


“Leadership, very simply, is about two things: (1) truth and trust and (2) ceaselessly seeking the former, relentlessly building the latter”. ~ Jack Welch

What a simple but powerful statement.

When you are a leader, you and your actions (or inactions) are observed, discussed, and often replicated. You are setting the standard for appropriate behavior. Are your actions truly reflecting how you want to be perceived and how you expect your team to perform and interact?

Trust is not gained just by simply possessing a title; trust must be earned and it comes with time. So, how can leaders build and sustain trust?

In his article “You Can’t Be A Great Leader Without Trust – Here’s How You Build It”, David Horsager discusses eight characteristics that leaders should display in order to earn trust over time.

  1. Clarity: people trust the clear and mistrust or distrust the ambiguous. Be clear and concise with your expectations.
  2. Compassion: people put faith in those who care beyond themselves. Be cognizant to show that you care in a genuine manner or it may be perceived as being insincere.
  3. Character: people notice those who do what is right ahead of what is easy. Do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and accurately even if it’s difficult.
  4. Contribution: few things build trust quicker than actual results. Deliver on what you say you are going to do.
  5. Competency: people have confidence in those who stay fresh, relevant, and capable. Be open to new ideas, new technology, and new ways of thinking.
  6. Connection: people want to follow, buy from, and be around friends – and having friends is all about building connections. Be genuine, listen, and show gratitude.
  7. Commitment: people believe in those who stand through adversity. Be willing to carry through and deliver on what you have committed to do even through difficult situations.
  8. Consistency: in every area of life, it’s the little things – done consistently – that make the big difference. Be willing to do the seemingly small things first; they just may prove to be the most important.

All of us, whether we are in a leadership role or not, can incorporate these characteristics into our daily interactions in an effort to develop and sustain meaningful relationships. Trust, after all, is the foundation of any relationship, personal or professional. Remember, it will take time and consistent, diligent effort but it will result in a more cohesive, productive team.

Becca Usher

Becca joined Aureus Group Healthcare Leadership in September 2013 and has more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry. With experience on the provider, payer, and insurance broker sides of healthcare, she possesses the operational, clinical, and regulatory knowledge necessary to adequately assess and screen candidates. As a recruiter, Becca focuses on healthcare administration searches across the United States with a priority focus in the Midwest. Becca graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC with a bachelor’s degree in exercise sport science. She also earned a Master of Healthcare Administration as well as an MBA from the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, MD.

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