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  • Writer's pictureTracey Wozny

The Unshakable Foundation of Leadership: How to Build Trust

How do we develop TRUST?

Consistency is KEY, especially in this day and age.

In Atlas of the Heart, Brené Brown states that all trust begins with self-trust. We stop trusting ourselves when we get hurt, feel shame, question our worth, or hurt others.

In order to build trust, including self-trust, we must implement the following practices in our daily lives:


Integrity means doing what is right, regardless of the consequences. It means doing what is right, even if no one is watching. It is setting and maintaining high standards for ourselves. Practicing integrity means making the right decisions time and again. Developing an ability to determine who is authentic and who is not helps weed out those who may be a threat to integrity.


We practice honesty when we are our true selves. It is dishonest to try to be someone we are not or to say things because we want attention or approval. We find relief when we stop trying to hide who we are and embrace our unique, authentic selves. Practicing honesty also involves being sincere in our beliefs and actions. However, it is important to note that hurting others with our words and actions is not a sign of leadership. We cultivate honesty and trust when we listen to others, empathize with one another, and embrace vulnerability.


Practicing loyalty means persevering through highs and lows and remaining committed to the people and values we believe in. It means we are faithful and devoted, even if it becomes difficult along the way. Loyalty takes work, especially in the age of instant gratification and social media. However, loyalty is one of the undeniable marks of leadership. It is worth the effort.


Reliability is established through a pattern of consistent behavior. We practice reliability when we live up to commitments, even when we don’t want to. It is following through when we say we are going to be there. It is being timely. When others know they can count on us, we build a strong foundation as leaders. There is no shortcut to being reliable. The only way to build a reputation of being reliable is by showing up and doing the work. Every day presents us with new opportunities to practice reliability and grow as leaders.

When we practice integrity, honesty, loyalty, and reliability until they become second-nature, we develop trust, both within ourselves and with the people around us.


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