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Trust Leadership with Stephen Covey

How Do I Build Better Leadership Trust on my Team

by | Feb 22, 2024 | Asking For a Friend Featured, By Karin Hurt |

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Insights on Leadership Trust from Stephen M.R. Covey

Leadership trust begets trust.

“It’s possible to have two trustworthy people working together, both trustworthy and yet, no trust between them.” – Stephen M.R. Covey.

I was delighted to have this important conversation with Stephen M. R. Covey where we both keynoted the Northview Church LEADS Conference. The conference was all about COURAGEOUS leadership. This concept is something I believe so deeply. If you want people to trust you, you’ve got to trust them.

Stephen shares, “If the outcome you want is trust, a high trust team, high trust culture, yes, we have to be trustworthy. We earn that. But we also have to be trusting. It’s the combination of being both trustworthy and trusting. It creates trust. I find bigger gaps and creating trust in teams and organizations is less that people aren’t trustworthy. Although, sometimes, that’s the case. And it’s more often that we’re not trusting.”

Leaders go first. Watch this #askingforafriend video for PRACTICAL tips to do this well, as well as some practical ways to restore leadership trust once it’s broken.

Trust Leadership with Stephen Covey

The Essence of Leadership Trust

It seems kind of wonky right? How can two trustworthy people not trust one another? Stephen M.R. Covey shares how. Sometimes it is not about whether they trust you. It could be whether you trust them.

Building a Culture of Trust

Creating a culture of leadership trust requires courage, openness, and a commitment to transparency. Here are some steps you can take to cultivate leadership trust:

  • Demonstrate Trust: Leaders must lead by example. Show trust in your team’s abilities and decisions. This act of faith encourages a reciprocal response, fostering a supportive and trusting team dynamic.
  • Communicate Openly: Open lines of communication are the backbone of leadership trust. Encourage honest dialogue, share information freely, and address concerns and misunderstandings promptly.
  • Acknowledge Vulnerability: Admitting mistakes and showing vulnerability are powerful trust builders. They humanize you, making you more relatable and trustworthy.
  • Empower Others: Trusting your team with responsibilities and decision-making authority empowers them and boosts their confidence. It also signals your leadership trust in their capabilities, further solidifying the trust foundation.

Restoring Broken Leadership Trust

Mistakes happen, and leadership trust can be broken. To fix it, acknowledge the mistake, apologize, and take tangible steps to rebuild the trust. This process is neither quick nor easy, but with patience and consistency, it is possible to mend fences and strengthen relationships.

The Ripple Effect

The benefits of a high-trust environment extend far beyond the immediate team or organization. Leadership trust fosters innovation, enhances collaboration, and improves overall performance. Moreover, it contributes to a positive organizational culture that attracts and retains talent.

The conversation with Stephen M.R. Covey underscores a critical lesson: Trust is both a gift and a responsibility. It demands a delicate balance of being trustworthy and being willing to trust others. By embracing this dual approach, you can unlock the full potential of your team and pave the way for transformative change.

Powerful Phrases to Navigate Conflict and Build Trust:

How to Deal with Political Conflict at Work

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  Want more human-centered leaders in the workplace? Share this today!


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Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation, and achieve breakthrough results.  She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Workplace Conflict, and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

Be More Daring


Get the free Courageous Cultures E-Book to learn how

7 Practical Ways to be a Bit More Daring

Be More Daring


Get the FREE Courageous Cultures E-Book to learn how

7 Practical Ways to be a Bit More Daring

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