How Great Leaders Build Trust

The truly great leaders in this world, no matter their field, are champions in many ways. We tend to define a champion as someone who is objectively “better than most,” but what we fail to ignore are the understated qualities of these selected few. If a leader wants to lead successfully, they must build trust, integrity, respect and purpose in those around them. Whether a visionary leader, wise politician, reliable friend, a noble defender, a parent or mentor, champions exist in every aspect of life.

So how do the strongest and greatest leaders accomplish this? Author, Michael Hyatt put together few ways leaders can instill those qualities into those around them:

1. Open Yourself to Others

To build trust, you'll also need to establish an open environment, where everyone is encouraged to express their thoughts and opinions. Genuine leaders that understand the importance of openness will gradually teach their team that it's okay to voice an opinion.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more; you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

2. Be Accountable

It's easy to have integrity when all is going well. It's much harder in times of crisis. Yet, it is how you act in difficult times that is the greatest measure of your integrity. Hold yourself accountable -- Don’t blame others when you should take responsibility. A great leader is strong enough to take whatever criticism comes their way. They are willing to put others first, even if their image is on the line.

3. Give Credit to Team Members

When you give your workers honest feedback (positive or negative, as long as it's constructive), it shows that you're honestly invested in their development. Learn and share your experiences to demonstrate that any success you may receive is because of a shared team effort.  Be happy to throw credit to others and give them an opportunity to shine.

4. Accept Confrontation

The ability to take stand and recognize that conflict is bound to happen will be a key piece of a great leader. Always understand that there's room for others’ well-being, even in the core of seeking self-fulfilling ambitions. Despite setbacks, you should continue to stand squarely behind their actions, knowing that there will always be those who misunderstand your intentions and even find judgement towards them. Resolution comes from spirited dialogue and is rooted in listening. 

5. Finding the Value in Others

Every team member needs to understand how their work matters and fits into the larger plan. Encourage others to share their vision with the entire team so they have the tools and confidence to excel in their jobs. Leaders must always learn to trust their followers – by empowering people, they can create a virtuous cycle of productivity and innovation.

The world is made beautiful thanks to these outstanding individuals — true champions who have gracefully conquered doubt and fear. Great leaders are driven by a creative desire to achieve, dream and improve. These dreamers are the makers of our world.