Posts Tagged ‘good stewardship’

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.

The second post in this series, which included an excerpt from chapter 2 of Building Trust and Being Trustworthy, looked at the component of honesty in building trust and being trustworthy.

This post will include an excerpt from chapter 3 of Building Trust and Being Trustworthy

Another component of building trust and being trustworthy that we must have is integrity.

Most people don’t realize that integrity and honesty are two distinct but complementary components of building trust and being trustworthy. This chapter defines and shows what integrity does and doesn’t look like.

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.


Excerpt from”Chapter 3: The Integrity Component of Trust and Trustworthiness”

We have already looked in-depth at the honesty component of trust and trustworthiness, and now we will look a corresponding and complementary component: integrity. They are not the same, although both must be present in quintessential leaders. To separate them more logically in thinking, honesty is how a person is (conduct), while integrity is who and what a person is (values and standards).

Generally, one doesn’t exist without the other because they depend on each other. If you observe someone who’s habitually dishonest with him or herself and others in any and/or every part of his or her life, you will find upon further observation, that person also lacks integrity. On the other hand, if you see someone who’s habitually honest with him or herself in any and/or every part of his or her life, upon further observation of that person, you will learn that he or she possesses integrity.

The word integrity comes from the root word integral, which means, among other things, entirecomplete, or whole. And that is a strong part of what integrity actually is. It is undivided and unwavering with regard to moral principles, to right and wrong, to right values and standards.

There  is no deviation, regardless of circumstances or costs. It is a systemic quality that affects everything in life. If it’s not a part of a person, life is perpetually chaotic, a free-for-all, and completely unpredictable in terms of directions and outcomes. If it is part of a person, there’s an unchangeable and dependable framework that can be trusted and counted on no matter what’s going on inside the frame.

So, what does integrity look like in action? It first has an intrinsic set of immutable values and standards and adheres to those values and standards, no matter what. Second, it is a conscious and deliberate choice of service – selflessness – over self-interest.

Integrity, by default, is encapsulated by Spock’s famous statement before sacrificing his life to save the rest of the Enterprise crew in The Wrath of Khan: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.” A quintessential leader will have the integrity to do what’s best for everyone, not just what’s best for him or herself. There is never a component of self-interest as a guiding principle in decision-making.

Integrity is also demonstrated by good stewardship. A quintessential leader will use resources correctly and judiciously and will acquire and allocate them fairly and skillfully, maximizing the benefit to all, based on needs, not wants.

Additionally, a quintessential leader will guard and protect those resources, ensuring that they are not diluted or wasted (this includes people – a good team can be undone by just one person that is not contributing or is actively creating divisions and disruptions).”