The foundation of leadership is trust. You can lead without trust if you base your leadership on fear. Arguably, this is coercion, not true leadership. How do you establish trust? Building trust begins by examining your underlying intent. Followers will ascertain, often unconsciously, “Are you serving the mission of the organization or bolstering your ambition and ego?” It is rare that a leader serves purely for the sake of the organization. Most leaders will, on occasion, unconsciously subvert the needs of the organization for an outcome that is, at some level, self-serving. However, trust can be established without perfection in this regard. As long as you primarily put the needs of the organization before the needs of your ego, career or department, trust will emerge.
However, sometimes the intent of the leader is trusted, but theintegrity of the leader is perceived as shaky, and this, ultimately undermines trust. In this context, integrity is defined as the quality or condition of wholeness. This is an internal state. Your intent may be to serve the mission of your organization. And yet you may not have the internal integrity to carry this out. As a result, trust is undermined.
Read more of my blog on the Huffington Post.