I want you think about how we build trust? Specifically, as a global leader, when you may be working across different cultures, how do we build trust as a general rule?
I believe there are three key things to building trust, and they are competence, character, and consistency. The three C’s, are broadly important as not only do you need to build trust with your teams, you also need to build trust with your suppliers, your stakeholders, your investors and your community.
As a global leader, people trust you due to your competence. Competence is the first C. Because you are in a senior leadership role, you automatically get a degree of trust. For example, if you were to go to a doctor, we have a level of trust with a doctor because they are a doctor, and we probably see their certificates on the wall. Same thing applies when we go and see an accountant or a lawyer. We have a degree of trust with them even though we may not have dealt with them before. We trust them due to their competence and their position. So you automatically get a certain level of trust because of your competence.
The second C is based around character. Character is about how you actually demonstrate the values? For example, do you demonstrate integrity, humility, courage, fairness, respect, inclusion and wisdom? How are you demonstrating these things, and are they part of your character? Because that’s what people see, and this is demonstrated in your behaviours.
I love the quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes, who said, ‘what you are speaks so loudly that I hear not what you say.’ In other words, your behaviour is really demonstrating your character.
The third C is around consistency. Are you consistent in what you are doing? Can people trust you because they know, that’s how you are, and it’s consistent? Because that helps build trust.
Let me use a very brief example about being on time. My bookkeeper, that I’ve worked with now for a number of years, is always on time. Always. So, recently when she was late, I said to her, ‘Wow, that’s quite unusual, and it was inconsistent.’ True to form, something had occurred with her children, and it required her to be late for the meeting. I have a high level of trust in her because of a level of consistency, her character that she’s demonstrated, and of course the fact that she’s qualified for that.
As a global leader, I invite you to reflect on how you are coming across in terms of your competence, your character, and your consistency? How are you building trust? Not only with your team, but with each other? How are you building trust in your community? What are some of the things you need to be doing to build trust with different aspects of your business?