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, chapter 3 discusses integrity, and chapter 4 discusses fairness, chapter 5 discusses righting wrongs, chapter 6 discusses accountability, and chapter 7 discusses consistency, and chapter 8 discusses sincerity.

This post, which includes an excerpt from chapter 9, discusses the component of setting boundaries that builds trust and makes us trustworthy.

Setting boundaries is not a negative thing. In fact, what it does is create a framework within which we operate and the things and people entrusted to us operate. 

Everyone knows what the framework is and the consequences for operating outside the framework because we consistently and fairly enforce the consequences when the framework is breached.

Why is a framework important? Shouldn’t everybody and everything be able to do whatever they want and however they want without any limitations?

Let me ask you this. Would you live in a house or work in a building that had not been framed before it was built?

Frameworks give a solid foundation, a sturdy structure, and a clearly-defined border, within which there is a lot of room for individual creativity, innovation, and expression.

Without frameworks, however, there is no stability and constant danger of collapse with injuries or fatalities.

We seldom see people in leadership positions who not only don’t set boundaries, but don’t know how to. As a result, everything is a free-for-all and the results are destructive and devastating.

And when the destruction and devastation hits, trust and trustworthiness are extinguished forever.

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 9: The Setting Boundaries Component of Trust and Trustworthiness”

A lack of sincerity has been painfully and increasingly evident in business, political, educational, civil, and religious leadership for quite some time, and it’s becoming the norm instead of the exception.

While sincerity is very closely aligned with honestychange link here to chapter 3 excerpt link: integrity, and authenticity, it is still a distinct component from these other quintessential leadership traits.

Sincerity, put simply, is the opposite of hypocrisy. But we need to define both of those words to see why.

Hypocrisy, in its simplest definition, is a person pretending to be, do, or believe something he or she isn’t, doesn’t do, or doesn’t believe. The Greek root of this word means “play-acting.” In other words, a hypocrite is faking it or perpetuating fraud.

Sincerity, on the other hand, defines a person who actually is, does, and believes everything he or she appears to be, does, and says he or she believes. In other words, a sincere person is “for real,” genuine, and free of pretense and deceit.

Sincerity, then, is a quintessential leader trait and another key component of building trust and being trustworthy.

What sets the component of sincerity apart from honesty, integrity, and authenticity, although, again it is closely related to all of these, is that it indicates a person’s motives or motivations.

This is another aspect of character – a heart issue. The other side of the coin, hypocrisy, also speaks to motives, motivations, and character.

Nowhere recently have we seen hypocrisy abound and sincerity questioned than in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which left a wide and extensive swath of devastation when it merged with two other storms to form a super-storm over the northeast United States on October 29-30, 2012.

Comments
  1. […] accountability, and chapter 7 discusses consistency, chapter 8 discusses sincerity, and chapter 9 discusses setting […]

  2. […] solid framework with well-defined parameters and a well-defined […]

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