Trust in leadership is on a decline1. There are several reasons for this, and the purpose of this white paper is to identify areas where leaders can focus to bring higher levels of trust.
The first question we should ask is, "Why is trust so important in an organization?" I believe that answer is in this quote from Sissela Bok, author of Lying2 :
Trust is a social good to be protected just as much as the air we breathe
or the water we drink. When it is damaged, the community as a whole
suffers; and, when it is destroyed, societies falter and collapse…Trust
and integrity are precious resources, easily squandered, hard to regain.
According to Patrick Lencioni’s model "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” trust is the foundation for all relationships. The workplace is all about people and relationships and that is why trust is crucial to the success of any organization.
So why is trust declining? There are three key reasons for declining trust:
1. Lack of vision
2. Fitting into the strategy
3. Uncertainty of values
Let’s break these key reasons down one at a time. The first is lack of vision or lack of understanding of the vision. An ancient Hebrew proverb says,
Where there is no vision, the people parish.
People need to know the vision of where the organization is headed and see a clear line of how to get there. Carly Fiorina said,
- A leader's greatest obligation is to make possible an environment
- where people's minds and hearts can be inventive, brave, human and strong...
- where people can aspire to change the world.
2 Bok, Sissela. Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life. Vintage Books, 1999.