How Leaders Build Trust Through Demonstrating Loyalty - The Character Series, Part 5

The quickest way of becoming the most resented manager in the company is to simply take credit for the achievement of others!

The degree to which our motives are driven by our own self-interest has a direct and devastating effect on how trustworthy we appear. And what could possibly be a clearer sign of blatant self-interest than taking credit for what we do not deserve?

It also deprives the actual achiever or contributor of their deserved recognition. 

Showing Loyalty is a necessary and worthy behaviour for any leader worth following! It builds on the principles of integrity, gratitude and recognition - all of which are what we expect from any good human.

It is the act of giving credit freely to those deserving of it which is building loyalty. This act in itself helps build trust. As human beings, the principle of justice and fairness is a basic need. So is personal fulfilment, as a means to reach one’s potential in life.

Each time we give credit, the other person collects more evidence that we are SUPPORTERS for their needs of fairness and personal fulfilment - not obstacles! 

However, giving credit freely is not the only way we show loyalty. There is more:

For example, imagine you observe your manager speaking about someone who is not here with us, as if they were in the room! 

You would notice they talk about that person in the same respectful way you would ordinarily see them talking directly to people all the time. Would that not add to their trustworthiness, as it gives you yet another piece of evidence of them walking the talk?

Might you not feel a bit more confident, that when they speak to others about YOU, that they would be honoring the same principles of respect, integrity, gratitude and recognition? 

Now imagine this: 

Your leaders would possibly win your trust even more, if you would see them standing up to the interests of someone else, who is not in the room. And they stand up for the other person’s interest, simply because they are not here to defend their own!

That’s a powerful demonstration of trustworthiness, that most people will jot only notice, but also will never forget.

Both examples are clear signs for their commitment to a worthy character, and they are clear demonstrations as to their motives: when dealing with them, they make sure that your needs and interests are met. Dealing with them always means that they are pursuing ‘win-win’ outcome, at the very least. 

In other words, with such a manager, you can be increasingly confident that your trust will not be betrayed.

Speaking of betrayal: obviously, getting caught taking undue credit is massively eroding trust. 

But if we - hypothetically speaking - would like to crank it up a notch on our quest for becoming the least trusted, most resented manager in the company, then let’s try being two-faced! 

Being two-faced means to give credit to the other person when they are present, and minimizing their contributions when they are not around, and eventually taking the credit for ourselves.

To the affected individual, it still SEEMS as if the other is showing loyalty, while in reality they are deliberately betraying our trust.

I don’t know about you, but I am both astonished and appalled about how often we can observe this behaviour. I bet you, who are reading this, won’t have any problem remembering someone like that.

What surprises me is: how can the two-faced person possibly think that nobody will notice? How can they possibly think this is not going to backfire?

In my experience, if I walk into a room full of people at work in a new job, and I would ask a random person ‘Who is the least trustworthy person around here?’, everyone would point at the same individual! 

That’s because everyone knows!

If that person is a manager, he has already lost the possible voluntary support of everyone who could otherwise become a co-creator of success. 

All charade has come down at this point, and it is going to be incredibly hard for that manager to build a network of trusted relationships. People may still go along with the manager, but ONLY as long as there is something ‘in it’ for them.