Trust is a prerequisite for leadership. People long for their leaders to be trustworthy, to be men and women of integrity. Ultimately people will not follow leaders they do not trust. They may execute tasks for a paycheck, but they won’t follow with their hearts if trust is lacking. If trust grows, so does a leader’s effectiveness. If trust decreases, so does a leader’s influence. From a practical standpoint, how does trust impact one’s effectiveness? Though there are a plethora of reasons, here are three positive impacts of trust increasing:
1. Speed increases.
When there is trust, conversations and decisions are much faster. When there are low amounts of trust, an incredible amount of time is spent hashing and rehashing decisions. When there are low amounts of trust, people are forced to spend more time communicating compared to when there are high amounts of trust. Ben Horowitz, in his book The Hard Thing About Hard Things, insightfully wrote:
Without trust, communication breaks. More specifically: In any human interaction, the required amount of communication is inversely proportional to the level of trust. Consider the following. If I trust you completely, then I require no explanation or communication of your actions whatsoever, because I know that whatever you are doing is in my best interests. On the other hand, if I don’t trust you at all, then no amount of talking, explaining or reasoning will have any effect on me, because I do not trust that you are telling me the truth.
When there is trust among leaders, more time can be devoted to execution and less time to communication.
2. Fun increases.
When trust increases, people tend to enjoy their roles and the team they are serving on more and more. The wasted emotional energy of “watching your back” or “building alliances” is replaced by enjoying the people you are blessed to serve alongside.
3. Results increase.
As trust increases, so does the potential for impact. The recent book Return on Character, by Fred Kiel, highlights the research of Kiel and his team, which shows that character has a direct impact on results. Bottom-line: Character builds trust, and people are willing to work hard for leaders they trust. Thus, results are more likely.