Trust-Centered Leadership®

Trust-Centered Leadership® is an approach to leading and developing organizations that sets trust-building at the forefront of the leadership agenda.

Cover of Trust-Centered-Leadership

Dr. Mike Armour, SLDI's founder and managing principal, has laid out the principles of this approach in his widely-read book Leadership and the Power of Trust: Creating a High-Trust, Peak-Performance Organization. The key principles of Trust-Centered Leadership® are outlined in the slideshow below.

Dr. Mike develops these same principles in our leadership training course on trust-building. He also keynotes on this topic.

Why Trust-Building is Vital

At the heart of most troubled organizations, Dr. Mike finds, are issues of trust which have gone unrecognized, unaddressed, or unresolved. When these trust issues are properly addressed and rectified, many of the most persistent problems in the organization start to dissipate.

Those who practice Trust-Centered Leadership® measure every decision, every action, and every initiative against two goals.

  • First, the goal of maximizing trust in themselves as leaders.
  • And second,the goal of building deeper trust within the organization.

Trust-Centered Leadership® does not replace other styles of leadership. Instead, it works alongside existing leadership styles to intensify your credibility, leverage, and impact as a leader.

The High Cost of Damaged Trust

Trust is at a premium in today's workforce. Jobs lost to mergers and acquisitions, corporate scandals, downsizing, and outsourcing have taken their toll on worker loyalty and trust. As a result, American business now runs a "trust deficit" which is as glaring as its trade deficit.

Lost trust is a serious issue. Trust is the glue that holds your organization together, the lubricant that allows it to run smoothly.

When trust breaks down, the result is fear, anxiety, suspicion, and insecurity. Morale sags. Turf-guarding and self-protection take over. People dig in their heels. They resist change, even when it is essential for survival. Communication becomes closed and self-serving. Productivity inevitably plummets and drags profits down with it.

For all of these problems, Trust-Centered Leadership® is the antidote.

Slideshow: Nine Principles of Trust-Centered Leadership

Nine principles of trust-centered leadership The two guiding goals in trust-centered leadership. Goal number one: Maximizing the level of trust in you as a leader Goal number two: Maximizing the level of trust within your organization What is trust? Trust is complete confidence that a person or an organization will consistently do what is right in every situation. Building this depth of trust is the primary agenda for trust-centered leadership. Trust-centered leadership does not replace other types of leadership. Instead, it enhance your chosen leadership style and intensifies your credibility, your leverage, and your impact as a leader. Nine principles of trust-centered leadership Principle number one. Trust is not something that we can earn. Trust is bestowed upon us by others. Like beauty, trust is in the eyes of the beholder. If someone chooses to withhold trust, no power at our disposal can compel them to grant it. Principle number two. Since the decision to trust us is entirely in the hands of others... ... we must maintain such stellar character and conduct that we make it easy for them to invest their trust in us. Principle number three. Trust does not come with your title. It grows out of your performance. Principle number four. Having a title gives you authority. Being trusted gives you influence. Principle number five. The authority of your position and your influence from being trusted determine the maximum potential for your leadership. Principle number six. As a leader, you must be trusted yourself before you can strengthen trust significantly within your organization. Principle number seven. Distrust engenders distrust. If you don't trust your people, it is unlikely that they will trust you. Principle number eight. Trust is contextual. Being trusted in one role or function is no assurance that you will be trusted in others. When we take on new roles or working relationships, trust-building shyould be our top priority. Principle number nine. People fully invest their trust in a leader only to the degree that the leader helps them feel safe, informed, valued, respected, and understood. Bonus principle. When you seek to transform an organization, trust-formation must precede transformation.