Trust is the most fundamental leadership need. With it, a leader can overcome many obstacles and shortcomings. Without trust, little else matters. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus began his teaching by saying I tell you the truth. The Gospel of John gave Jesus' purpose as coming to testing to the truth. Jesus actually claimed to be the Truth. The Holy Spirit was introduced and described by Jesus as the Spirit of Truth. On the other hand, Satan is commonly referred to as the father of lies and the Deceiver.
The surest way to be a trusted leader begins with knowing and following the One who is described within the Word of God as the Truth. Building trust means first knowing truth and being trustworthy, then investing enough time into relationships that people see the real you. This is clear, simple, undeniable. Yet it's not what most leaders want to hear. We'd much rather seek shortcuts. Americans in particular spend countless hours and resources on trust-building exercises, excisions, discussions, and trainings, most often with little to no long-term benefit.
Gallup's research on teams found that the most successful teams talked very little about trust, while the topic of trust dominated the conversations of struggling teams. Why? Because building trust is not a competence. Building relationships is. Trust, respect, integrity, and honesty are developed and revealed through strong relationships.
Newsflash: Encouraging relationships flat-out trumps competence in building trust.
So what does this tell us about our approach to team-building?
Are we building relationships or fruitlessly attempting to build trust?
How do we develop a culture of trust within our team?