Why is Trustworthiness Important?

Sep 09, 2019

Why is trustworthiness so important?  In this blog I am going to answer that question, give you an awesome example of this quality, and give you three tips on how you can be more trustworthy. 

What do the influencers of the influencers do? 

Harvard Business Review had an article by Ron Carucci that shared the findings of a 10-year study of the best of the best executives and they found that, “Every organization has executives everyone wants to work for. These executives form deep connections with superiors, peers, and direct reports, studying and meeting the needs of key stakeholders. They communicate in compelling ways and reach beyond superficial transactions to form mutually beneficial, trusting relationships. Their legacy becomes a positive reputation within the organization for consistently delivering results while genuinely caring for those who deliver them.” 

Trustworthiness is important if you want to be influential.

Let me share a quote from a great example of a trustworthy person:

“It’s improper for one person to take credit when it takes so many people to build a successful organization.” —JIM SINEGAL

I worked at Costco for several years just after college and I considered living the Costco dream.  It was and is a great company to work for and I believe that is due to the foundation laid by former CEO and co-founder Jim Sinegal.  I had the privilege of opening one of his stores outside of Dallas, Texas and was impressed that Jim wore a name badge like everyone else and adhered  to the existing company dress code at that time. 

Another thing I learned in observing Jim is this:  Leaders Add Value by Serving Others

 In a world where many political leaders enjoy their power and prestige and where CEOs of large corporations make astronomical incomes, work and live in luxury, and appear to be most concerned with what’s in it for them, Jim Sinegal is an oddity. Sinegal is the cofounder and CEO of Costco, the fourth largest retailer in the United States and the ninth largest in the world, but he doesn’t seem terribly interested in perks. He works in an unremarkable office comprised primarily of folding tables and chairs. If he invites someone to meet him at the corporate offices, he goes down to the lobby to meet his guest. He answers his own phone. And he takes a salary of only $350,000 a year, which puts him in the bottom 10 percent of CEOs of large corporations.

 

Sinegal’s path to corporate leadership wasn’t typical either. He didn’t attend an Ivy League school. He isn’t a lawyer or a CPA. As a teenager, he thought of becoming a doctor, but his high school grades were less than stellar. So he went off to community college and earned an associate’s degree. While he was attending San Diego State College (now University), he helped a friend unload mattresses at a new local retail store called Fed-Mart. That one day of work turned into a regular job. When he received a promotion, he discontinued his studies. He had found his career. In time, he had also found a mentor, Sol Price, Fed-Mart’s chairman.

 

Under Price’s guidance, Sinegal rose to the post of executive vice president for merchandising. Sinegal later helped Price found Price Club and then went on to co-found Costco in 1983 with Jeffrey H. Brotman. The company’s growth was rapid. Costco purchased and merged with Price Club ten years later. 

Above excerpt taken from The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell

Now that I’ve shared a great example of a trustworthy leader, I’d like to pass on three important tips to help you become one yourself:

  1. Be honest - Tell the truth and hold yourself accountable to this. If you have not demonstrated honesty, people won’t see you as trustworthy.
  2. Be relational- This may seem especially geared for those in sales, but actually it works for anyone with a desire to be great and do something great. You want to get to the top as fast as you can, and I get that. I am right there with you, but we must be careful not to use people. We cannot think of people as a stepping stone to our ultimate goal; they are people who want to be loved and cared for.  They want to make a difference and reach their goals too.  Zig Ziglar says if you help people get what they want, they will help you get what you want.  So be relational and genuinely care about people.
  3. Trust others– I believe that responsibility leads to empowerment. If you trust people and give them the opportunity to demonstrate that they are trustworthy, they will feel empowered by you and they will in turn trust you. It is the old law of reciprocity in action.  Plus, you must model what it is you want from others.

On a personal note, being trustworthy is one of my core desires in life. I work to be found trustworthy with those closest to me and those I work with.  I believe this has been foundational to my personal success and I know it will do the same for you.

To access my free download, click the link below that says Influence Assessment. 

Increase your influence, realize your dream

Influence Assessment

 

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