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Building trust: the ultimate advantage

Opinion

Building trust: the ultimate advantage

What if the ability to build trust is the foundation of all we want to achieve in business and in life?

As leaders and in business, especially in these uncertain times, we are always looking for a competitive advantage to keep us one step ahead.

Is there a secret sauce that can propel us forward? US business leader and bestselling author Patrick Lencioni writes in his book, Advantage: “Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”

I recently watched The Queen’s Gambit and there was a scene that really impacted me that made real, the conversation around winning and if it was a result of collaboration or competition? I wonder what helped the main character win? Was it her solitude or was it when she trusted the team to contribute to her success? Was it when she finally let go of the fear and allowed others into her protected world?

When we are really challenged as leaders and as a community, do we stand together or alone?

I have had many moments as a leader that challenged my ethos of teamwork,  however I know with absolute certainty after 25-plus years of leading others that without trust as a leader or as a business owner, you will not be able to move through to courageous conversations, building a truly committed team, being able to hold your people accountable or the ultimate goal – delivering results.

The foundation of this teamwork model is trust; it is the basis on which all success is built. As leadership guru Stephen Covey says:  “Trust is the glue
of life.”

So how do we build trust? Cue celebrated researcher, speaker and author Brené Brown, who addresses the issue by breaking it down into the anatomy of trust, in a process she calls ‘braving’.

For Brown, trust is formed through the essential elements of: Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Non-Judgement, and Generosity.

Trust to me is choosing to make a part of who I am or what I believe vulnerable to the actions of someone else. It’s saying as a leader that I made a mistake and taking accountability. It’s keeping a promise, it’s courageously standing by what I believe to be right and it’s accepting everyone for who they are and what they bring. Most of all, it’s giving back to a community and people that I love and respect.

What if the ability to build trust is the foundation of all we want to achieve in business and in life? Can you be brave and vulnerable enough to trust enough so you can be trusted?

Let’s challenge ourselves to earn our leadership through building trust every day out of respect for those who are following us.

Jeanette Allom-Hill is a speaker, executive coach and an expert in change

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