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by Mitch Myers, Executive Director West Portal Center for After-School Recreation and Education

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Become a Powerful Leader by Building Trust   

Nadia Prescott

Nadia Prescott

All successful leaders share one trait in common. They have the ability to build trust, which takes time and effort.  Trust is earned by virtue of effective communication, authenticity and connection. It is rooted in the capacity to work well with others and inspire a team. Regardless of whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you can easily become a powerful and well respected leader by considering the following:

  • Be selfless. People are inspired by leaders who show they care for others. Take a moment and think about your team, whether you manage them directly or they participate on your board.  Have you taken the time to get to know them on a personal level? Can you identify what motivates them, or what is going on in their lives? Have you put in the effort required to make a genuine connection with each of them? Would they define you as caring and compassionate?  Building trust is about investing in your people at a personal level.
  • (Instead of talking, listen! Ask thoughtful open ended questions and focus on what people share with you. Learn about their personal stories, take note of what is important to them. And then use this information to motivate and support your team more effectively.
  • Do a quick self-assessment. What kind of leader are you?  What is your vision for the organization? Do you demonstrate passion?  How much time do you spend on leadership versus management?   To help answer these important questions, try this simple exercise. Look back at your meeting schedule over the past two weeks.  Figure out how much time you spent on strategic activities and refining your vision versus revisiting an old strategy or reacting to a specific situation.  The answers might surprise you. Moving forward, schedule at least 30 minutes each day, preferably first thing in the morning and away from the office, to focus on developing your leadership skills by defining your own values and goals. Invest in your personal growth by getting to know who you are as a leader, and then use your new found insight to become an inspiration for your team.
  • Follow through on your commitments, and lead by example.  If you agree to do something, make sure and get it done quickly. Nothing erodes trust faster than someone who doesn’t make good on their promises.
  • Demonstrate thoughtfulness.  Make that call to ask an employee how they are doing, write a thank you note when one is needed, take note when a team member goes the extra mile. These gestures matter! Be mindful about investing in your people as they are your greatest asset.

Contact us to learn more about how executive coaching can help you develop your leadership potential.