From my own business experiences, I have learned that one of the most important tools a leader has at their disposal is trust. Without it, you’re not leading; you’re just going for a walk in the park. Think about it, if your team doesn’t trust you, why would they follow you or even listen to you? As a professional keynote speaker, I often explain that without their trust, a team will not respond to even the simplest request from their leader, let alone the hard ones. The fate of a business can be tied to the level of trust a team has in its leader.

So, if trust is so important, how does a leader go about earning it – that’s right earning it! I have come up with an initial list of things a leader needs to do to earn the trust of their team. Here it is:

1. You need to have a vision of where you want to take your organization. Effective leaders have a destination in mind (and then another one after the first one is achieved) and like to get there in the most direct way possible. No vision = No trust.
2. From your vision, develop a set of clear values that you will adhere to in executing your strategy to achieve your vision. If you can’t place a high premium on things that will describe who you are, you are creating a credibility and integrity vacuum in the eyes and minds of your followers. No values (consistently followed) = No trust.
3. Do what you say you will do or in other words live up to the promises you make. You’ve heard the old expression – you can talk the talk but can you walk the walk? No walk the walk = No trust.
4. Listen to your employees so that you can build a strong reputation and relationship with them. Hold periodic meetings to keep everyone in the loop – I call them “huddles”; talk one-on-one with them; ask them about their career goals. No listening = No trust.
5. Equally important to your team’s development (as well as your reputation with them) is for you to spend some time daily or weekly catching them doing something right. Look for every opportunity you can to reinforce the right actions. No encouragement = No trust.
6. Get into the habit of admitting your mistakes when something goes wrong. If your team sees you doing this, they will know that you are human and they will begin to admit (and take responsibility for) their mistakes. No taking responsibility for your actions = No trust.
7. The example you set through your actions determines how you lead. Hence the concept “leadership by example”. As a leader you set the tone by what you do more than what you say. This is the single biggest factor in how trustworthy your team believes you to be. No setting the right example = No trust.
8. Finally, to help you earn the trust of your team (and boost your team’s performance), learn to take smart risks. Once you get comfortable taking risks, “coach” your team how to take them as well. Set the parameters they need to stay within. No risk taking = No trust.

So, what should you do now? Simple…conduct your own self examination to evaluate the level of trust you have earned with your team. To help you in this effort, let me give you the answer. You can do a better job.

Create your own plan to get started. Not sure where to start? Let me give you that answer also – call me. Whatever we do, will be designed to teach you how to improve profitability by boosting your team’s performance – as their leader.

Author's Bio: 

Chris Ruisi is an experienced executive/business coach as well as accomplished leadership/business motivational speaker. He mentors and guides executives and business leaders to find their “stretch” point to learn the full measure of their capabilities in chaotic times. He helps them to “master being comfortable feeling uncomfortable.” Chris understands how leadership works, how organizations work, how power works, and how decision making works. Known as a popular blogger, and sought after speaker, he has also created an extensive video library on YouTube. Through this work, he has created a community of entrepreneurs, executives, and business leaders who understand the importance of Being Fearless; Stepping Up, and Playing Big. To learn more about Chris visit or email Chris at