… a core concept in Leadership Skills and Atlas 109

trustConcept description

Trust, defined by Merriam-Webster as “belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.,” has been called the new core of leadership.

In his 2012 Forbes article, Why Trust is the New Core of Leadership, Charles Green writes:

Not long ago, most discussions of leadership were about leaders – their personality traits, how to identify and groom those with ‘leadership potential,’ and what were the skills that leaders employed. Leadership theorists nowadays stress authenticity, EQ and relationships. This makes intuitive sense. But it isn’t just a fad; there is a solid reason behind the shift. It is driven by changes in the world. Above all, it reflects the growing importance of trust.

…vertical power-based leadership becomes less relevant. The key success factor becomes the ability to persuade someone over whom you have no power to collaborate with you in pursuit of a common mission. Leaders can no longer trust in power; instead, they rely on the power of trust.

In their 2003 Harvard Business Review article, The Enemies of Trust, Robert Galford and Anne Drapeau look at why it is so difficulty to build trust within an organization even when most of the members consider themselves and their colleagues to be reasonably trustworthy. The list the following “enemies of trust”:

  1. Inconsistent messages
  2. Inconsistent standards
  3. False feedback
  4. Rumours in a vacuum
  5. Consistent organizational underperformance

In his 2009 post, How the Best Leaders Build Trust, Stephen Covey lists “13 Behaviours of High-Trust Leaders Worldwide”:

  1. Talk straight
  2. Demonstrate respect
  3. Create transparency
  4. Right wrongs
  5. Show loyalty
  6. Deliver results
  7. Get better
  8. Confront reality
  9. Clarify expectation
  10. Practice accountability
  11. Listen first
  12. Keep commitments
  13. Extend trust

Charles Green (2012), Why Trust is the New Core of Leadership, Forbes, 3 April 2012, at, accessed 14 February 2016.

Robert Galford and Anne Drapeau (2003), The Enemies of Trust, Harvard Business Review, February, at, accessed 14 February 2016.

Stephen M R Covey (2009), How the Best Leaders Build Trust, Leadership Now, at, accessed 14 February 2016.

Atlas topic, subject, and course

The Study of Leadership and Communication (core topic) in Leadership Skills and Atlas 109.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 14 February 2016.

Image: Tom Grant, at, accessed 14 February 2016.