Leadership and trust

Trust is vital. It is one of the fundamentals of any kind of cooperation between two living beings.

For the word “trust” Google offers first: 'trust is the leading value-for-money brand for digital lifestyle...'. Only the next shot is the definition of trust by Webster's dictionary.

dollar to goldUnluckily, trust is a rare supply these days. People have trouble trusting each other, according to the AP-GfK poll conducted in November 2013. Furthermore, it seems that Americans are suspicious of each other in their everyday encounters. Only one-third of them say most people can be trusted – down from half of the people who felt that way in 1972. Another study since 1972 is the General Social Survey that has been monitoring societal change and within it also a trust. In the Final Report of General Social Survey 2012 “Trends in Public Attitudes about Confidence in Institutions” a scale covering 13 institutions (adding Banks and Financial Institutions to previous 12) confidence fell from an average of 29.2% to a second low point of 22.6% in 2008-2012. Indisputable is that trust as well as “unquestionable” is a basis of any religion. Modern economic activities are not far from this. Just look at the confidence in the financial sector, market, stock market or values of companies, and the value of money. On 1971 Federal Reserve notes were banned to be redeemable in gold and Executive Order 11615 in August of the same year ended the direct convertibility of dollar to gold. Other nations followed. From there on paper money has the value only if we trust in its “price”. And the money is not the only paper that has the value only because of the trust people put in …

In martial arts trust is the foundation of any practicing. Imagine that you are invited to be a sparring partner in a friendly match with Mohamed Ali. If you do not trust that he is capable of stopping the fist in front of your nose, you’d probably not even enter the ring. The same self-confidence in his abilities must also have Ali, because if he is not able to stop his fist, he’ll probably break your nose. How many partners for training will then he has if breaking the nose with his first hit occurs regularly?

pet a dogIf you pet a puppy on the road, you need to trust that she will not bit you, and she has to trust you that you are not attacking her. Trust in oneself and in the others is therefore one of fundamental values that surpasses all our artificially created cultural, ideological and other barriers. It is the foundation of any relationship. It is moving companies, organizations, societies and much more. It is in the Nature and drives the survival instincts of all species.

trustPeople are more inclined to trust those who are consistent in their behavior. In the past the greatest leaders in the world were genuinely trustworthy. But today company leaders are challenged between informing their employees of the entire truth and holding back certain realities so as not to unnecessarily scare people or lose top-talent. When leaders are not grateful for one’s performance efforts – and are always attempting to squeeze out of employees last drop of effort – it is difficult to trust such a leader. Employees desire to know what is expected of them and be given the opportunity to reinvent themselves, rather than be told they are not qualified for new roles and responsibilities and can no longer execute their functions successfully. When leaders lack the courage to enable their full potential and that of others, it becomes a challenge to trust leader’s judgment, decision and overall capabilities.

There is a saying in martial arts: “Trust your friends to beat you so that your enemies cannot!” This saying is all about trust. Good leader equally understands the processes in the team, as well as, the fact that leadership does not require the application of force or pressure. There is no room for mistrust either. Exceptional leader trust his/her people and is trusted by them. A well led team is not a battlefield of egos, as there is no place for individual ‘victory’ or ‘defeat’ in teamwork.


  1. Trust is the glue that binds people/relationships together; it's very essential if you truly want your brand to remain relevant.

    Trust takes years to build but, can be lost in a second.

    Thank you Sir Jaro for finding time to pen and share this with us. Am grateful visiting this great blog site and learning from your timeless sagacity.

    Thank you.

  2. Thank you for your positivism. Trust is very important and is gluing all we do and as well the economy we live in.

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