[January 4, 2018] One does not need to be a sage philosopher to know that trust is what makes successful interactions among humans possible. Trust is so fundamental and so ingrained into us that much of it often goes unrecognized; such as the meaning of words and symbols, courtesies, and in problem solving. Trust is also at the heart of leadership.
Without trust there is conflict and chaos. Miscommunication is often the reason for conflict among people of all social status and wealth. But it is misplaced or ignored trust that drives an emotional element to the conflict and explains why so many folks are strongly attached to various socio-political ideologies.
A crucial tasks of leaders is to ensure that trust is maintained and, when possible, improved upon. The reason is simple; no organization can function without it and the degree of trust is directly proportional to the productivity of any given workforce. I’ve written about trust in leadership before and highlighted the decline in trust in government, the media, the “rich,” and the police.
Those that drive others to discard their trust are a special people. If, for example, you do not trust the media to do their jobs (fake news, propaganda, etc.) and bring us unbiased news, then you stop buying their newspapers or listening to them. The media stops hiring the best journalist and now takes on less trustworthy individuals; a cycle that eventually ends with the destruction of that organization.
Folks that tell us not to trust the media, government, etc. are special because they are creating a new level in social problems. Some groups such as Black Lives Matter, the American Nazi Party, Communist Party USA, are examples of organizations that have leaders who desire to destroy trust in the U.S. government and go out of their way to make that known. And, it works well.
There are many organizations dedicated to destroying trust. Leaders who build trust must be on the lookout for those that do this and act appropriately to expose them to the sunlight of the established rule of law. We are witnessing some of this in action today in the country of Iran where protestors are showing the world the corrupt nature of their government.
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