Building Trust as a Leader

As you think forward for the coming year, what business resolutions will you make that can benefit you and your organization? One New Year’s resolution all leaders can benefit from is TRUST.

Trust is the glue that binds a culture together and allows it to perform. Without it, performance lacks and strategies can under-deliver.  According to Gallup research, when employees don’t trust organizational leadership, their chances of being engaged are one in 12. But when trust is established, the chances of engagement skyrocket to better than one in two. That’s more than a six-fold increase.

In 2019, find one new thing you can do to build TRUST with the people you lead and serve.

Keep it simple to start. Make it something you can do immediately. Monitor its effects. Refine and keep doing it. Make it a tangible signature of how you lead – the thing people remember about you.

In Simon Sinek’s book, Leaders Eat Last, he describes that when marines gather to eat, the most junior are served first and the most senior served last. There is never an order for Marines to do this, they just do. It is tangible sign repeated over and over that followers can trust their leaders to have their backs.

Here are some rules-of-the-road for leaders to find their own signature habits for building trust with employees and customers:

  1. Keep it Real– Nothing can replace face-to-face meetings for social animals like us. No matter how powerful social media is, it is not as effective as real human contact for building strong bonds of trust.
  2. Make it Manageable– As your business grows, you lose contact with the people you lead. To build trust, camaraderie and teamwork, limit the number of people involved to the number who can actually form personal relationships with you and each other.
  3. Meet the People You Serve– Create opportunities for you and your people to build trust with your customers. It is important that everyone understands personally how what you do affects customers’ lives.
  4. Give Followers Time, Not Just Money– People put a premium value on those who give their time and energy – not just write a check. Allow ample time for employees to build trust by helping each other and customers.
  5. Be Patient– The strong feeling after a great job interview or sales call is not trust. It is nothing short of gambling to assume that one or two encounters is enough to build trust. It may work out, but the odds are against you. Give relationships time for trust to develop.


Employees want to feel valued and respected by a trusted leader or supervisor. Trust can enhance employee performance, engagement and extend employee retention. For more information on how we can help you reach this goal or others in 2018, contact us at

Happy New Year from everyone at Executive Aura!


Executive Aura is a boutique-consulting firm in Nashville, TN that provides business strategy, leadership development, and culture solutions that engage employees. We work with CEOs, senior management and emerging leaders to Think, Lead and Act like a CEO. Our services include: executive coaching & advising, employee engagement, culture and communications audits, leadership development and keynote speeches. Our services are customized, providing unique solutions for our clients.