Trust and Leadership

Photo at Pixabay / CC BY CCO Public Domain

It is common sense and certainly common knowledge that “trust relationships” are at the heart of effective leadership. Very few people would challenge this as a logical concept. Makes sense, right? Well, maybe. Many mangers either lose sight of this concept, ignore the need for continued trust building or just aren’t oriented in this manner. It is at the root of a number of productivity issues including the lack of effective delegation management.

Why is trust building so important to leadership, productivity and execution?

Group Visual Communication

Delegating through the Employee’s Lens

The ability of managers to execute assignments and projects, through effective delegation management and leadership, is based on the trust relationships established. The manager must trust their people and the team must trust the manager. This represents the cement that binds the highly productive business unit together. Trust is a two-way relationship between manager and team and team and manager. In order to achieve high-performance, you must have this two way trust relationship.

Trust through the Lens of the Emloyee

Understanding this through the eyes of the employees under a manager is a very good way to gain insight into why building trust is a key. In a recent Blog from Bret L. Simmon’s Positive Organizational Behavior Blog, reviewing “What does it mean to trust others?”, there were some very telling comments.

  1. Having trust means “believing [the manager] they are sharing their authentic selves with you.” When a manager is not, they can be perceived as a “phony”.  A trusting relationship is the “glue that holds any relationship together.” Where the manager/employee relationship is concerned, this glue is what allows them to weather adversity and deal with crisis situations.
  2. Where trust exists, you know that “trust is believing that someone will act with your best [interests].” Neither the manager or any employee will have to watch their backs when trust is in place. they can work to achieve execution success without any concern for someone’s intent or any hidden agendas.
  3. Trusting a manager “means [they] must be consistent in word and deed.” Members of the business unit do not need to worry that the manager will say one thing and do another. The manager “walks their talk”, they do what they say they will do. this is so fundamental to how trust is built and maintained.

These comments represent just a few of the perceptions that employees have about the importance of having a trusting relationship with their manager. You can see the tone for this. A tightly knit business unit that has high-performance results is based on trust with each other and with their manager. This is no accident. The top managers, those we would easily point to as people oriented leaders, work hard to consistently earn trust with their people. It engenders the same relationship focus with members of the team in how they approach each other.  It also makes those who do not practice trust stand out and allows the manager to coach or in the worst case eliminate a non-trust acting employee.

The ability of a manager, and of the business unit, to function at a high level of work execution and productivity is fueled by the trust each has in the manager and each other. You know it when you see it. The camaraderie and morale of the team is high. They can take on challenges and produce because of the unit’s trust relationships. It is such an obvious core competency you wonder why more managers don’t see the light?

Comment: For more valuable information on this topic and many others, please visit Bret Simmon’s Blog, Positive Organizational Behavior.

Additional Management Resources – Trust

Low Trust Issues

Learn More: You can learn more from our e-books, “Management By Delegation” and “Delegating Through the Lens of the Employee” that bring real world experience and proven skills and tools to managers world wide.Plan-Delegate-Manage is an organization that strives to tested techniques, proven skills and valuable management delegation tools to those who manage people for results.


Michael D. Moore is the publisher of Management By Delegation and is a veteran executive with 40+ years in the Banking and Insurance Industries. A devoted entrepreneur, using his business experience to provide resources for managers and leaders at all levels. For the last 5 years, he has built a growing web presence for helping people with personal and professional development. To learn more about these advanced concepts & join our group Click here 5 Must Have Management Skills

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This