the quintessential leader building trust and being trust worthy book

In the first post of this series, the excerpt from chapter 1 included a list of all the components we must develop and have to build trust and be trustworthy.

In the subsequent chapter excerpts detailing the components we need to have and develop to build trust and be trustworthy, chapter 2 discusses honesty, and chapter 3 discusses integrity.

This post, which includes an excerpt from chapter 4, discusses the component of fairness that builds trust and makes us trustworthy. 

A lack of fairness when dealing with people and situations destroys their trust in us and our trustworthiness to them. It’s unusual to see fairness in application anywhere in society today. Favoritism and partiality abounds wherever we look and wherever we are.

And that is unquintessential leadership. No matter who does it. No matter how it occurs. No matter how many excuses and justifications are given for the unfairness (and there are plenty). 

In the end, being unfair in our treatment of people is a trust and trustworthy breaker.

Building trust and being trustworthy is an integrated trait of quintessential leaders.

It is also an integrated trait that all of us – because each and every one of us leads at least one team, small or large, of people in our lives – need to develop and have as part of the core of who we are and what we are. In essence, this trait is at the center of exemplary character and conduct, and none of us should settle for anything less than this in ourselves and others.

Unfortunately, most of us settle for less. A lot less. In ourselves. In others. 

The majority of people in leadership positions today are not trust builders and they are not trustworthy. Many of us, frankly, are also not trust builders and trustworthy.

We live in a world that with no moral code as its foundation that expects trust to be non-existent or broken. Look around. It’s everywhere, including, in many cases, very close to you.

And society has become so accustomed to this that it glorifies it instead of condemning it.

Politicians who lie routinely, who line their pockets with money and perks while making decisions that hurt and destroy the people they are supposed to represent, who cheat on their wives because they can.

Arts and sports celebrities who have no regard for faithfulness to their spouses, who live hedonistic lifestyles that destroy their families, the people around them, and, eventually their lives.

Religious leaders who cheat on their wives, who cheat on their taxes, and who scam their congregations both in how they deceitfully handle the word of God and in coercive and corrupt financial matters, acquiring wealth and power in the process.

Business leaders who destroy millions of lives by deceit, fraud, and illegal actions that result in their employees and customers losing everything while they escape any kind of punitive action and instead reap obscene profits and end their tenures – only to go to another financially lucrative position – with golden parachutes that are equally obscene.

And we, as individual leaders for our teams, who cheat on our taxes, who are routinely dishonest with the children (our own and others) and other people entrusted to us, who routinely steal things from our workplaces (you most likely didn’t pay for that pen you’re using at work, so it doesn’t belong to you), who routinely break traffic laws, who will walk out of stores with something we were not charged for and never think twice about it, who will take extra money that we’re not owed in financial transactions without blinking an eye, who cheat on our spouses, who marry until “divorce do us part,” and who, as a course of habit, break confidences of family and friends, gossip about family and friends behind their backs, and destroy reputations in the process.

Maybe we haven’t thought about building trust and being trustworthy at this kind of nitty gritty level.

But until we do – and we develop and have this trait as the core of who and what we are – we will not build trust and we will not be trustworthy. And we will not be quintessential leaders.

Trust and trustworthiness is probably the single most important trait we can possess. And it is also the most fragile.

It can take a long time to build and be, but it can be broken irreparably in a single second.

Therefore, this is a lifetime work on and in ourselves that we must commit to making an integral part of our character by continually developing it, maintaining it, and growing it. 

This goal should be our goal.

But it requires courage. It requires diligence. It requires vigilance. It requires continual self-examination. It requires continual change. It requires the ability to, much of the time, stand alone to maintain.

It is not for the faint-hearted. It is not for the vacillators. It is not for the crowd-pleasers. It is not for the pretenders. It is not for the wannabes. It is not for the weak.

But if you’re reading this, I know that you’re not any of those kinds of people. Those kinds of people won’t even read this because it requires time, effort, change, and commitment, and too many of us are, sadly, either just too lazy or we just don’t care. 

Building Trust and Being Trustworthy takes an in-depth look at the “this is what it looks like in practice” aspect of each of the components we need to develop and have to build trust and be trustworthy. The second chapter discusses the component of honesty in building trust and being trustworthy.

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Excerpt from”Chapter 4: The Fairness Component of Trust and Trustworthiness”

There is no simple definition of fairness, but it can best be described as having objective standards and rules that apply – and are applied – to everyone across the board without exception and being unbiased and unprejudiced in dealing with all people.

Quintessential leaders must have this trait in order to earn trust and to become trustworthy, because people will always respond favorably – even when there is a negative consequence for non-adherence – to someone who doesn’t bend the rules, play favorites, or have different sets of standards and rules for different people or groups of people.

The reality is we all encounter issues with fairness very early in life.

Often we first experience it within our families, where consciously or unconsciously, parents may have a “favorite” child and that child seemingly can do no wrong and gets away with murder, so to speak, while the other children are routinely held accountable for adhering to the family rules.

This sets up sibling rivalry, which can have devastatingly divisive consequences for the family far into the future.

We next experience it our extra-familial settings: school, sports, church, clubs, etc. We’ve all seen this first-hand in the form of teachers’ pets, the star athletes, pastors’ kids (PK’s), and within social and civic clubs like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc. If we weren’t among any of these groups of people, then we often saw and experienced first-hand the unfairness of treatment.

Teachers’ pets, for example, never had to write “I will not talk in class.” 500 times, while we, even if we weren’t talking, had to write the hand-numbing sentences along with the people who were actually talking.

Star athletes could flagrantly break all the team rules and still be on the team and playing, while we, if we broke just one and were caught, were either suspended for several games or kicked off the team altogether.

Pastors’ kids – and I have a lot of good friends who grew up PK’s, so I’m not picking on them because they’re pretty acutely aware of both the preferential treatment they received as well as the fishbowl scrutiny they lived under – were often the wildest kids in church, yet they were not punished, while most of us, if we broke the rules and got caught, had the heavy hand of punishment dropped on us like a ton of bricks.

And in our adult lives, we experience the same kind of unfairness in the workplace. We watch colleagues, who are friends with or liked by their superiors, get special advantages, promotions that are not related to ability and suitability, and no consequences for circumventing or breaking organizational rules and policies or for doing illegal and immoral things.

We have worked among brown-nosers and suck-ups who take advantage of the lack of fairness that is prevalent among many people who are in leadership positions and we watch them rise through the ranks, not on merit or hard work, but because of their attachment or affiliation with upper management.

In the South, for example, there seems to be an unwritten law that, regardless of experience and qualifications, a person will not gain employment with an organization unless he or she is “from around here,” is related to someone in the organization, knows someone well-placed in the organization, or is friends with someone well-placed in the organization.”

Comments
  1. […] trust and be trustworthy, chapter 2 discusses honesty, chapter 3 discusses integrity, and chapter 4 discusses […]

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  2. […] trust and be trustworthy, chapter 2 discusses honesty, chapter 3 discusses integrity, and chapter 4 discusses fairness, and chapter 5 discusses […]

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  3. […] trust and be trustworthy, chapter 2 discusses honesty, chapter 3 discusses integrity, and chapter 4 discusses fairness, chapter 5 discusses righting wrongs, and chapter 6 discusses […]

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  4. […] trust and be trustworthy, chapter 2 discusses honesty, chapter 3 discusses integrity, and chapter 4 discusses fairness, chapter 5 discusses righting wrongs, chapter 6 discusses accountability, and […]

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  5. […] to build trust and be trustworthy, chapter 2discusses honesty, chapter 3 discusses integrity, andchapter 4 discusses fairness, chapter 5 discussesrighting wrongs, chapter 6 discusses accountability, and […]

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  6. […] trust and be trustworthy, chapter 2 discusses honesty, chapter 3 discusses integrity, andchapter 4 discusses fairness, chapter 5 discussesrighting wrongs, chapter 6 discusses accountability, and […]

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