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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

23 Mar '11

The currency of trust

Posted by T.J. Addington in Healthy leaders, trust
Trusting relationships and maintaining that trust is the currency necessary for ministry influence, healthy teams, and partnerships with others. Lack of trust kills all three. Like currency, trust can be deposited or withdrawn and maintaining a healthy trust account is always a priority of a healthy leader.


Trust is deposited when people can count on us to keep our word on promises made. A bank account of promises kept will take one a long way even when for some reason we let others down. A pattern of not keeping our word, however will deplete that account.


Trust is deposited when we can be counted on to be consistent in our directional leadership. People need the security of knowing where we are going and how we are going to get there. Flavor of the month leadership or a history of directional surprises will lower the account. 


Trust is also deposited when people can count on us to be fair, consistent and predictable. Unpredictability depletes trust because it causes anxiety over which "me" they are going to encounter in any given situation. 


It is also deposited when we are candid, honest, and open rather than hiding our "cards" or leaving people wondering what we are really thinking. Of course, leaders don't always reveal everything but unless they can be counted on to be transparent about what the team needs to know, trust is withdrawn.


When staff know that our highest priority is to serve them, help them succeed and develop them into all they can be, trust is accumulated. When staff see that their leader is more concerned about their reputation, getting the credit or their own stuff, it is withdrawn.


While healthy people grant trust unless and until there is a reason not to, healthy leaders by their character and behavior are always building a bank account that works in their favor when tough decisions must be made that require staff to trust them. They will if there is trust in the account and a history of trustworthy character and behavior. When staff lose significant trust and the bank account is depleted, it is no longer possible to lead from strength.


Healthy leaders are always conscious of their "trust account."