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Trust is the Foundation of Leadership, Teamwork, Sales
March 2010

A reader asked an interesting question about my last column on the pillars of success:  Leadership, Teamwork, and Sales.  His question was whether Trust should be a pillar of success.

I’m passionate about trust, its importance, and how trust must permeate everything we as leaders do.

In my last column, I said that the common denominator in Leadership, Teamwork, and Sales is people.  Whenever we’re dealing with people, we’re dealing with relationships.  And Trust is the foundation of ANY relationship.

Leadership is a relationship between you and the people you’re trying to lead.  If people are going to follow you as a leader, they’re going to do a better job if they trust you as their leader. 

For them to do their best work, they must believe that you’ll do right by them, you’ll treat them fairly, you’ll defend them.
That requires trust.

Teamwork is a relationship among the team members as a whole, and between individual team members.  So trust is essential.
Most of my work with management teams involves teaching team members how to build trust, and how to tear down the barriers that have risen due to lack of trust.

Sales is a relationship between you and the person you’re trying to persuade to buy your product or service.  In internal sales, it’s a relationship with the person you’re trying to persuade to adopt your idea or strategy.  (Especially when that person is your boss.)

When I’m teaching sales, I emphasize that we buy from two types of people:  People we like, and people who are like us.  It’s intuitive that we like people who are trustworthy, and that if we’re trustworthy ourselves, we’ll expect trustworthiness in people who sell to us.

This is why, in sales, I emphasize the importance of establishing and maintaining the relationship.  And, that relationship is built on trust.

Trust isn’t one of the pillars of success because trust is the foundation on which the three pillars stand.  You can’t have good leadership, teamwork, or sales if those relationships don’t have a solid foundation of trust.

Put another way, without that foundation of trust, your leadership, teamwork, and sales skills won’t be nearly as effective as they should be.

Building trust is a skill you must continually develop if you want to maintain productive, worthwhile relationships.

What are you doing to build trust in your relationships?  How are you showing others that trust is the foundation of your leadership, teamwork, and sales?

Until next edition, keep leading the way!

Copyright (C) 2010 by Terry Wall