Berger Leadership Blog

Do you show these 7 signs of trustworthiness?

Dan BergerA fundamental component of being a great leader is trust. This trait instills a sense of respect and loyalty among employees, which ultimately strengthens your team's bond and drives successful outcomes. But just because you are in an executive role doesn't mean you are entitled to trust – it requires intentional effort and reflection to ensure your actions align with what it means to be "trustworthy."

Leadership guru Lolly Daskal offers seven signs of a trustworthy leader, a person who demonstrates that their title enables them to make other people's lives better:

  1. They stand on principle even when they have to stand alone. Doing the right thing isn't always easy. In business, the desire for growth and success can put us in situations where we have to balance staying true to our mission and character against taking a financial hit. But great leaders act with integrity and "in the interest of the greater good, even if that means going against the prevailing trend," Daskal writes.
  2. They help others become better and improve their lives. I practice servant leadership because it prioritizes investing in the personal and professional well-being of your employees. By putting the needs of your team ahead of yours, you demonstrate care and respect – and that your position of power is not self-serving.
  3. They listen with an open heart and mind. Listening is a difficult activity to perform. We are busy, with a million thoughts and lists of things to do constantly running around in our minds. That's why it's important to be intentional when talking with employees so you hear and understand any concerns they may have, and follow up with the appropriate questions or responses to address them.
  4. They don't sweep difficult issues under the rug. If you avoid situations because they are uncomfortable or challenging, a leadership role isn't for you. By addressing adversity head-on and clearly communicating, you will gain the respect of your employees.
  5. They stay steady under pressure. Each of our organizations face stressful times; a trustworthy leader is able to keep a level head during them. Leadership requires you to put aside your own emotions in certain situations in order to keep employees calm and confident in their roles.
  6. They take responsibility, and you can count on them. As a person in a leadership or management role, the success of your team falls back on you. If something goes wrong, you are the one accountable for any shortcomings. You're only as strong as your weakest link – do all you can to lift each of your employees.
  7. They say what they mean and mean what they say. False promises and dropping the ball are quick ways to lose the trust of those around you. When you fall short, don't try to deny your intentions or make excuses. Be humble and realistic about your abilities so you deliver for your team.

Trust is needed to lead a successful team. Review these signs from Daskal and consider whether you already exhibit them to your employees, or if there are some areas on which you could improve. Heading into the new year with a renewed commitment to trust is a good resolution.

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About the Author

B. Dan Berger, President and CEO, NAFCU

Dan BergerB. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and has helped expand the association's reputation into becoming a premiere advocate for the credit union industry.

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