Leaders have influence only to the degree that they are trusted. Trust is the most fundamental of human social needs. Without trust, the relationships necessary for social and cultural order fall apart.
Gaining the trust of followers is thus of utmost importance to leaders. But if they think that they can earn trust, they are missing a pivotal reality. Trust is not something we earn. It's something which others bestow on us. Trust, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
If people choose not to trust us, we have no way to mandate that they do so.Our job as leaders, then, is to act in such a trustworthy manner that we make it as easy for people to bestow trust upon us.
And to appear trustworthy, we must first look at ourselves from the perspective of those who lead. From our followers' vantage, what makes us worthy of trust? And conversely, what makes us undeserving of trust? This episode examines the crucial necessity of leaders approaching trust-building from the viewpoint of those whom they lead.