The Trust Factor - Important or Not

Posted on: Wednesday 01, February 2017
Category: Leadership Development

The Trust Factor

I believe that an essential aspect of high-performance leadership is to create businesses that grow. It is also possible to create workplaces in which everybody thrives. To do this, leaders need to build cultures based on trust and authentic care towards others.

Businesses that make this happen are not driven purely by bottom line profit. Instead, they add value and make a difference, and they make the world better. Interestingly profits then follow.

So, what is trust and why is it so crucial?

As per the dictionary, trust is a reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, a truth of a person on whom one can rely.

From a leadership team view point there is no quality more vital than trust. After all, it’s a core human value. But why isn't trust taught in teams? That seems odd to me!

Well, I suppose if you consider recent political and media goings on around the world then role models here on trust seem few and far between. For example, apparently, there's now a brand new Twitter phrase, a Tweet Smack, referring to President Trump's many put-down tweets! Notably, too, we have been introduced to new ‘1984 Orwellian’ type phrases such as alternative facts (double-think) and fake news (news-speak). Both of which are outright lying by the way. They lead us all to question the very institutions we ought to be able to trust in and that hold powerful people to account.

So perhaps we then dismiss the notion of trust as being lofty and unreal, or even namby-pamby in our workplaces too?


A breach of trust goes even further of course. It includes abuse of protective checks and balances that should be in place to hold to account dubious actions of some of our large multi-national conglomerates and our politicians (already mentioned). The large banks in 2008 betrayed many peoples' trust too, which we are still feeling the effects of today.  (see my previous blog on Ethics for more details).

Despite all this, successful people believe in the power of trust. So, perhaps we just need to learn to have faith in trust. But, how do we do this? Read on!

Success in today’s connected world begins with trust

The Business author Stephen M R Covey said in his book, The Speed of Trust:

Trust is the glue that binds people together and the lubricant which allows energy and passion to flow.'

Bob Chapman, CEO, and author of Everybody Matters believes that trust can transform individual lives, teams and the future of business.

So, if you want to become a high-performance team, then you must build trust as a primary team principle. If you learn to trust people in your team (and those around you) and show that you believe in them, then everyone benefits. That becomes even more crucial with global teams where distance, cultural differences, and varying time zones become a barrier to genuine communication.

Sure, I know there will be times when trust breaks down. And yes, not everybody on the planet can be trusted, but surely as a starting point, isn’t it at least possible, to begin a relationship based on trust?

So, in summary, team trust is the foundation upon which high-performance cultures and teams are built and thrive. However, distrust causes a breakdown in relationships. In the end, if distrust is left to fester it leads to team dysfunction and low performance.

How to Build the Trust Factor


In business, trust is everything.

We buy from people we trust. 

We engage with people we trust. 

We listen to people we trust. 

We employ people we trust. 

We are influenced by people we trust.

(Thanks to Ian Stewart, MD of Growth Engine Ltd for this verse on trust.)

The point I want to make is that trust starts with us all as individuals and how we relate to others in the workplace and our lives. Trust is an essential quality for any leadership team to develop too. Done genuinely and skilfully, then trust bonds you together as leaders. It is the cornerstone of team development and to create a winning culture.

How well are you doing on the trust factor?

Have a go at this easy quiz I have developed. It will help you to gauge the current level of trust in your team.   

(Source - Extract from my forthcoming book, The Authority Guide to Develop Quality Leadership Teams - Publication due June 2017)

A score of below 40 indicates that there is a trust issue in the team to address. 41-70 shows that trust could be a problem. Scores over 71 suggest that a healthy level of team trust is present. How did you do?

(Source - - Stephen R Covey)

To Develop trust in teams means to learn to take a risk, to be honest with oneself and others. It’s the courage to say genuinely:

  • You’re right. I trust your judgment.
  • I was wrong. I made a mistake. What can I do differently?
  • I’m not sure. Can I get your advice on this?
  • I am sorry. It’s my fault.
  • Would you mind giving me a hand?
  • What can I do to help?
  • I couldn’t have done it without you.
  • I’m listening.

5 Simple Take Away Actions

  1. Take time out to build your team every now and again. For best results work with a Leadership Specialist. For example, I can help you and your team here.
  2. Learn to believe that everybody matters and to trust others transforms your life and the lives of those around you.
  3. Modify your language and thought patterns to presuppose that people can be trusted, at least as a starting point. 
  4. Become curious about other people, what makes them tick and their back-stories. When we learn to show more of our true selves to others and become less bothered about our image, then we connect with others at deeper levels.
  5. Let go of your ego. Being okay with one’s vulnerability is a strength and not a weakness. To admit our failures and mistakes to others can be a powerful way of to build trust. (See the examples mentioned.)


[976 words]

This topic will form one of the themes in my next book. Below is a cheeky peak at it.

My services

Senior management coaching

I am a skilled leadership and team facilitator and development consultant. Please contact me today to discuss how you and your organisation can benefit from developing your team in emotional intelligence development or high performance team programmes. Call 07795 182 860 or email to arrange an informal discussion.

Sneak peek at my latest book

Click on the image above to head over to order it now. It's getting useful reviews too.

For other books in The Authority Guide Series, click on the following graphic:

See my website for more information on developing successful teams or for developing a team charter

Download my detailed FREE questionnaire too. It measures where you are on an authenticity scale. It includes tips on advancing towards your authentic self. 

Other Leadership Blogs

High Performance Teams Fact or Fantasy - Blog Post

Leadership - Who is Pulling Your Strings -Leadership development blog from Andrew Jenkins Leadership Development Consultant and Coach

Click here for Further blogs

Other contact details:



my own (See infographics Library)



Fill out our quick form and we’ll keep you up dated with our latest blogs. All fields that are marked * are required.

Marketing Permissions

Andrew Jenkins will use the information you provide on this form to post leadership blogs to you and the occasional update marketing message. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Add New Comment

Back to Blogs