Trust: The Leading Indicator (The 8 Pillars of Trust)
According to our global study and The Trust OutlookTM, the number one question everyone is asking is “Can I trust you?”. A lack of trust is your biggest expense in business and life. Each of the 8 pillars of trust contribute to demonstrating why trust is the leading indicator.
Everything of value is built on trust. You’ll pay more for the trusted brand, follow the trusted leader, and buy from the trusted salesperson. Trust is the single uniqueness of the greatest leaders, organizations and brands of all time. Trust is the root cause. It amplifies marketing, speed of the sale, and is the only way to leverage the benefits of diversity.
Leading vs. Lagging Indicators
Leading indicators are typically input oriented, hard to measure but easy to influence. Lagging indicators are typically output oriented, easy to measure but hard to improve or influence. In many cases, the leading indicator is the cause of the lagging indicator.
An example of a leading indicator would be leadership competency. If the leading indicator is leadership competency- measured at the process level, the lagging indicator would be employee satisfaction, measured at the organization level.
Trust is the most important leading indicator as it is vital for driving toward any goal. Whether you are trying to increase your customer satisfaction rate or decrease attrition, trust affects the bottom line. From massive fraud in business to scandals in politics and athletics, the headlines point to a persistent problem of modern life and business—we’re lacking in trust.
So how do you build trust? Many professionals think it is as simple as increasing integrity or honesty. However, the solution much deeper and more complex than this. In order to build trust, you need to look at a much broader spectrum of ideas. The 8-Pillars of trust can assist in building the foundation for success.
The 8 Pillars of Trust- Defined
- Clarity: People trust the clear and mistrust or distrust the ambiguous. Be clear about your mission, purpose, expectations, and daily activities. When we are clear about priorities on a daily basis, we become productive and effective.
- Compassion: People put faith in those who care beyond themselves. People are often skeptical about whether someone really has their best interests in mind. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is not just an old saying. It is a bottom-line truth. Follow it, and you will build trust.
- Character: People notice those who do what is right ahead of what is easy. Leaders who have built this pillar consistently do what needs to be done when it needs to be done, whether they feel like doing it or not. It is the work of life to do what is right rather than what is easy.
- Competency: People have confidence in those who stay fresh, relevant, and capable. The humble and teachable person keeps learning new ways of doing things and stays current on ideas and trends. Make a habit of reading, learning, and listening to fresh information.
- Commitment: People believe in those who stand through adversity. People trusted General Patton, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, Jesus, and George Washington because they saw commitment and sacrifice for the greater good. Commitment builds trust.
- Connection: People want to follow, buy from, and be around those who are willing to connect and collaborate. Trust is all about relationships, and relationships are best built by establishing genuine connection. Develop the trait of gratitude, and you will be a magnet.
- Contribution: Few things build trust quicker than actual results. At the end of the day, people need to see outcomes. You can have compassion and character, but without the results you promised, people won’t trust you. Be a contributor who delivers real results.
- Consistency: It’s the little things—done consistently—that make the biggest difference. If I am overweight, it is because I have eaten too many calories over time, not because I ate too much yesterday. It is the same in business. The little things done consistently make for a higher level of trust and better results.
According to the Trust OutlookTM, the number one reason people want to work for an organization was trust. Ahead of being paid more, ahead of more autonomy, ahead of a more fun work environment, they want to trust their leadership. When the 8-pillars are used together, they make up the great advantage called The Trust Edge.
Trust is the most important leading indicator. When trust increases or decreases, the lagging indicator follows. If a leader is untrusted, both employee and customer satisfaction decrease. If a brand is trusted, revenue will increase, and employee retention will become greater. It affects all aspects of business. In both situations, trust is the first thing that changes.
Everything of value is built on trust, and a lack of trust is your biggest expense. So if trust is so important, how do you build it? In the original research, and backed up every year in our annual global research study The Trust Outlook™, 8 traits came out of what makes up a trusted individual and those who have what we call the Trust Edge.