When you build “Trust Accounts” with others by committing to what you can deliver and then delivering on what you commit, you earn the currency of leadership. When you give your word to someone and then don’t deliver, you withdraw currency from this Trust Account.
A good image of leadership is a highway. This highway has many toll booths, and you need one and only one currency—trust—to pass through them. Every time you keep your word or act with integrity, you earn a coin. Every time you don’t, you lose a coin.
You can only travel on the leadership toll road if you have these coins. As soon as you run out, you are out.
Think about it: Why would you ever support the idea of allowing someone to be your leader if you did not trust them? You wouldn’t have confidence in them, an easily understood phenomenon: this word literally means “trust” (fidere) “with” (con).
Trusting someone who does not keep their word would make your life unsafe, and security is the feeling people most look to their leaders to provide
A leader must protect and ensure this security if they wish to continue in their role. You can make mistakes, you can refuse to listen for a while, you can even fail to inspire, but if you lose their trust, you’re done.
This week, think about how the choices you make as a leader from day to day reflect a deeper integrity.
Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).