How do you know if a leader is trustworthy?

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“Trust is the highest form of human motivation. It brings out the very best in people.” – Stephen R. Covey

Recently I was in a dilemma to make some decisions about my career choice. I got valuable advice from my cousin. He talked to me about two kinds of people.

First one, they are direct, they speak their mind and do not manipulate facts. Sometimes you find them a little more direct, but they are very clear and that helps you to make your decision and next move.

The second one, they tell you something, but they have something else going on in their mind and they do not tell you the truth, so their action differs from words. They keep you in limbo and that is why you remain confused on your next move.

Unfortunately, I was dealing with the second kind of person. Fortunately, my cousin’s advice gave me the courage to figure out rationally and I could make the right decision.

So what are the characteristics of a trustworthy person?

“Trust is built when someone is vulnerable and not taken advantage of.” -Bob Vanourek

  • They keep their promises and if they cannot due to circumstances, they accept that and discuss with you WHY and how to go about the next step.
  • They have integrity, if they say, they hold themselves responsible for that. They do not leave you guessing and wondering.
  • They are transparent with you, they do not try to hide what can affect you.
  • They do not manipulate the truth.
  • They do not makeup numbers or stories to justify points or show them successful, they accept if they fail and work towards that.
  • They have determined priorities and they have plans to work toward that.
  • They are disciplined and focused.
  • They use direct communication and they keep you in the loop.
  • They do not give peer pressure.
  • They do not try to catch attention to get validation or importance.
  • They are self-contained and compassionate towards others.
  • They do not brag humility, they mean it.
  • They value you as a person, they have your best interest at heart.
  • They are ok to show their vulnerable side, they accept their imperfections and limitations.
  • They are considerate and do not look down on others.

How do you know if a leader is trustworthy?

Inspirational leaders need to have a winning mentality in order to inspire respect. It is hard to trust in the leadership of someone who is half-hearted about their purpose, or only sporadic in focus or enthusiasm. – Sebastian Coe

  • You are not guessing if the leader is trustworthy, as you surely have peace of mind working with such a leader. 
  • You know she thinks in the best of your interest, she guides you when you are stuck.
  • You feel motivated to add value to the team and organization and are satisfied with your job.
  • You feel comfortable going to this leader for any issues or situations.
  • You feel comfortable with changes as she explains to you WHY behind that.
  • She does not play good cop, bad cop with you.
  • She involves you in decision making and has clear directives.

Whom do you would recommend as a trustworthy leader?

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