Learning Leadership: What Does Trust Have to Do with it?
Trust is the most basic of all human emotions taking root from the time of our birth. Trust allows us to explore our surrounding environments and promotes growth, enables personal development, and creates a sense of comfort. However, just as readily as trust flourishes, it can be destroyed through interactions that cast doubt and suspicion upon one’s intentions.
Trust is a complex human emotion that is formed through life experiences and, as a result, shapes individuals differently. It builds upon a broad continuum driven by competence, integrity, and confidence. Involving cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dimensions, trust is generally viewed as a positive attribute that allows one to have faith in mankind to do the right thing (Colquitt, Scott, & LePine, 2007).
Established through credible words and actions over time, trust is a necessary element for organizational effectiveness. Trust has a significant impact on an organization’s mission, leadership, staff, and customers. The commitment and integrity of successful leaders are essential in paving the way for unparalleled cooperation and organizational performance. According to Covey (2009), trust is a critical element for any leader and often makes the difference between an initiative’s success or failure.