The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
The most influential people in the world are people who can be trusted to get things done and know how to develop others to do the same. A life that develops people of character who can reproduce themselves in others is a life lived well.
Whether you’re leading for societal transformation or leading a team within your organization, you can become a person of influence. Demonstrating impeccable character, a high level of trust, and quality people skills increase your influence with others, and marks you as a person worth emulating, which by today’s standards is priceless.
A Good Trust Account is Better Than Money in the Bank
“Influencers travel at the speed of trust” – JSP
Stephen M. R. Covey says, “When trust goes up in a relationship, or on a team, in a company, in an industry, with a client, with a customer—speed goes up with it and cost comes down. Everything happens faster and everything costs less because trust has been established. That’s a dividend, a high-trust dividend.”
The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer
“After a year of unprecedented disaster and turbulence – the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis, the global outcry over systemic racism and political instability – the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals an epidemic of misinformation and widespread mistrust of societal institutions and leaders around the world. Adding to this is a failing trust ecosystem unable to confront the rampant infodemic, leaving the four institutions – business, government, NGOs, and media – in an environment of information bankruptcy and a mandate to rebuild trust and chart a new path forward.
Global Pandemic Puts Trust to the Test
The Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 1.9 million lives lost and joblessness equivalent to the Great Depression, has accelerated the erosion of trust around the world. This is evident in the significant drop in trust in the two largest economies: the U.S. and China. The U.S. (40 percent) and Chinese (30 percent) governments are deeply distrusted by respondents from the 26 other markets surveyed. And most notable is the drop in trust among their own citizens, with the U.S., already in the bottom quartile for trust, experiencing an additional 5-point drop since its presidential election in November 2020 and China seeing an 18-point drop since May 2020.” (1)
Replenishing the Trust Account
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” – Albert Einstein
“Employees want to know that they can count on their leaders to do the right thing no matter what. Leaders can’t expect others to act ethically if they don’t model those behaviors themselves.
They have to be worth emulating. It is not only who you are on the inside but what you do on the outside. Leaders who live their values naturally build trust and credibility among their employees and in their organizations.
The research described in James Kouzes and Barry Posner’s book, “The Leadership Challenge,” found that people value honesty the most over other leadership qualities (89%). Our research reinforces the long-held notion that people want leaders with integrity.” (2)
What both studies say couldn’t be any clearer. People will work with, buy into, and go the extra mile for leaders they trust.
Steven R. Covey stated: “If I try to use human influence strategies and tactics of how to get other people to do what I want, to work better, to be more motivated, to like me and each other—while my character is fundamentally flawed, marked by duplicity or insincerity—then, in the long run, I cannot be successful. My duplicity will breed distrust, and everything I do—even using so-called good human relations techniques—will be perceived as manipulative.” (3)
“Trust has to be earned and should come only after the passage of time. – Arthur Ashe
(1) 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer (annual global study) https://bit.ly/3uonalM
(2) What People Want in a Leader: How Do You Measure Up? https://bit.ly/2QSUFz6
(3) Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People