Ten qualities of a trustworthy leader

This blog has previously stressed the importance of honestly in the executive team. Truly successful leaders and managers cannot compromise the trust of their employees. Once an executive shows any hint of dishonesty or gives the inclination that they cannot be trusted in a crucial moment, they could lose control over their team. 

An article in Business Management challenges current managers and executives to test their own trustworthiness. By answering a series of questions on a Likert scale, they can determine if they have what it takes to be an effective leader.

Readers were asked to share how strongly they agreed with these 10 statements:

  • With my team, I spend more time asking and listening than I do talking
  • I tell my team the reasons behind the decisions I make
  • I want the team to work toward challenging goals, and I expect that they'll be able to attain such goals even if they've never had to before
  • My door is open for discussions with my team members, not just about the business but also about topics outside of the workplace
  • I try to get to know each of my team members as a person and learn about their values, interests and experiences
  • I share with the team the core values and beliefs about business that influence every decision I make
  • I make a point of recognizing team members, and the team itself, for a job well done
  • I deal well with criticisms of my performance, even if I don't like or agree with the feedback
  • I try to be as consistent in dealing with individual team members' issues as I can; even though each person's situation is different, I want the team to feel I'm a predictable manager
  • I work to get the information my team needs and wants to know about our organization — even if it's difficult to find out

Those who agreed with these the strongest are deemed the more trustworthy, and therefore better leaders. In your search for potential executives, this is a valuable tool that can help you identify the best people for your organization. 

Quality leaders are open and transparent, but are more interested in what their team has to say. So while they will certainly let their employees know the rationale behind their business decisions (even those that may be considered controversial) they will gladly stop and allow their workers to share their thoughts, questions and concerns. Trustworthy leaders communicate with their workers on a personal level, because doing so can create a more comfortable working environment, which ultimately can increase productivity and help team members achieve more challenging goals. 

In addition to transparency, strong leaders must provide their teams with a foundation based on their own vision, mission and values. This will help employees comprehend the tasks they are assigned and understand the place each direction comes from. It shows respect to each worker by letting them know why each decision is important. Ultimately, direction provided without this element will not resonate with its intended audience. 

As you search for your executives and senior managers, it's important to look for people who possess these qualities. Working with an executive search firm will help with this process.