Bill Couchenour | Monday, June 27, 2011
Last week we saw how trust can significantly improve financial results, creativity, innovation and adaptability of an organization. But, how do you build trust? I remember something Warren Bennis and Joan Goldsmith wrote a few years ago that captured my attention1:
“…most of trust comes not from a particular technique, but from the character of the leader.”
Bennis and Goldsmith go on to say that, “In order to create trust you need four ingredients.”:
1) Competence – People need you to be competent at what you do. As Christ-followers we should always be striving to be the best we can be. One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from Dorothy Sayers:“The first demand on a carpenter’s religion is that he makes good tables. What use is anything else if in the center of his life and occupation he is insulting God with bad carpentry.”
2) Congruity – People need you to be a person of integrity. The word “integrity” implies wholeness. In other words, your thoughts, words, actions and intent all need to be congruent. “The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart” (Psalm 15:2).
3) Constant – People need to know what they can expect from you. They need to know that in the heat of battle you will act in a manner that’s in keeping with what they see from day-to-day. It doesn’t mean you can’t express emotion or that you can’t change your mind. It means that you won’t do either of those in a way that catches them by surprise. Live your guiding principles. “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8).
4) Caring – People know that you genuinely care about them. They need to know that they are not simply a means to an end. The roots for this is found in one of the two most important commandments given to us by Jesus (Matthew 22:39) and the benefits far outweigh the efforts not to mention the additional strength when we knit ourselves together in a vision (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
If you have influence over anyone (including, perhaps especially, volunteers) in an organization, you are a leader. And that means we are responsible for the four ingredients above that speak to character, not technique.
“The trust factor is a social glue that binds commitment and promotes action necessary to produce results.
Without it, you can’t win.”
1 from Learning To Lead – A Workbook On Becoming A Leader by Warren Bennis and Joan Goldsmith
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