The Importance of Trust in Leadership Essay

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We all have studied great leaders and when asked, we can cite their names and quote them in an instant. However, most certainly, we can also think of someone we would describe as a bad leader. The common trait among the bad leaders that I have worked with was their lack of trustworthiness. These leaders were deemed untrustworthy because they would tell people what they wanted to hear, not the truth. They would articulate one thing to one employee and something else to another employee. They would pass their employee’s work off as their own. And they would exclude team members from important meetings and decisions. Therefore, as a result of these negative behaviors, no longer was I able to grant them the benefit of the doubt and I…show more content…
This was a sure sign of his lack of integrity and loyalty. His dishonesty was a direct result of his unwillingness to admit what he did was wrong. Withholding information from team members was also a trait this leader employed. O’Toole and Bennis (2009) stated that “Leaders try to hoard and control information because they believe it is a source of power” (p. 11). I consider this to be true for this specific leader. He would deliberately hoard information so that others would not have the same knowledge as he. Again, this deceitful act was an indication of his lack of communicating honestly and his lack of integrity. True leaders are selfless not self-serving (Mckinney, 2000/2009). This leader was putting his own success above all else, therefore I could not put my trust in him.
A leader cannot be successful without building a trusting rapport with their followers. Without trust, a leader will be unsuccessful motivating and influencing employees to follow them. People will not follow someone they do not trust. According to O’Toole and Bennis, “Leaders first must trust others before others will trust them” (2009, p. 13). Although the act of enlisting trust in your followers, is in essence giving away some of your power, leaders will essentially gain authority because they will have followers who will want to support them.

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