Trust Great Leaders: Do What They Say, Say What They Do

Trust Great Leaders: Do What They Say, Say What They Do


“Cultivating a courageous character core requires trustworthiness. Can your colleagues rely on you to  be honest and truthful?”​
~ Danita Bye


When we analyze trust, we think of the person who will do what they say and say what they do.  In our corporate culture, we sometimes find that even prominent leaders will set high standards for others, but then fail to do what’s right when faced with moral or ethical challenges.

My go-to expert on trust is speaker and author, David Horsager. This quote from his book, The Trust Edge, stuck with me:​“The single uniqueness of the greatest leaders and organizations of all time is trust.”

Note: David Horsager, M.A., C.S.P, is an author, entrepreneur, professor, and award-winning keynote speaker who researches and speaks on the bottom-line impact of trust. David’s signature speech and nationally bestselling book, The Trust Edge, have inspired leaders and motivated teams toward greater results on six continents and across the United States.

When I read one of David’s recent blogs, I was reminded of the huge influence trust has on our daily lives. Here’s a short summary of the main points that grabbed my attention:

  • Trust has the ability to accelerate or destroy any business, organization, or relationship.
  • The trusted leader is followed. The trusted sales person is bought from. For the trusted brand, people will pay more, come back, and tell others.
  • One of the biggest accelerators of trust is the perception that someone is concerned beyond themselves for the good of the whole. Firefighters and nurses care for others by nature of their jobs. But we wonder if the salesperson really has our best interest in mind. Resolve to be among the trusted in your field. If you show that you think beyond yourself, you will be unique and successful in your industry.​

Isn’t this good motivation to leave a legacy of trustworthiness?  – a legacy to inspire future leaders to work together for the common good of the community?

Trustworthiness is the fifth action step in cultivating a courageous core. If Next Gen leaders can develop personal trustworthiness, colleagues will be much more likely to extend trust and commitment to team goals as well.

Tips to help you guide today’s emerging leaders towards Trustworthiness:


I’m always reassured when I remember there is One who is always trustworthy.

Teach young leaders the long-term value of Trustworthiness. Remember, the greatest leaders of all time all have this quality. It cannot be built overnight, but rather over a period of time.

  • Stick to what and who you believe in, even when chaos and turmoil erupt. Be loyal.
  • Stick to the truth, even if it’s unpopular. Be honest to others and to yourself.
  • Stick to what you believe, and be sure it matches what you say you believe as well as what you actually do. Now that’s true integrity!

I know the reality of the broken world we live in means we will encounter lies, deception, and dishonesty. It will be no different for the next generation of leaders. It is crucial that we, as seasoned leaders model trustworthiness so our Next Gen leaders understand firsthand just how crucial it is to the viability of business growth.

Dakota Way Leadership question: What behaviors might you encourage future leaders to change in order to earn other people’s trust?

Dakota Way Leadership lesson: Leaders who live trustworthy lives foster and nurture a courageous character core.

© Copyright Danita Bye, 2016

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