shutterstock_104678732As our new book was being published in December, we were asked to write an article about trust and leadership for the Journal of Trust Research. The one thing all of our leaders did was to create a culture of trust. Not only did they act in a trustworthy way, by leading with the ROCC of Trust, but also they institutionalized their actions, so that those behaviors would last beyond their own tenure. This ensured that the organization would continue to cultivate a culture of trust whether or not that specific leader was there, or not.

For instance, Bob from GM Parma, eliminated executive parking and separate cafeterias and even decided that he would stop wearing suits and ties, in favor of sweaters and windbreakers.  All of these institutional mechanisms reinforced Bob’s trustworthy behaviors, such as sharing financial information with the entire plant, joint decision making with the union, and asking for ideas on how to get new business into their plant.

To create a culture of trust, it takes a leader who is willing to act in trustworthy ways as well as implement specific actions that will ensure trust is sustained.

How have you created a culture of trust in your organization?  Is there something you can resolve to do in the new year to make this happen?  We look forward to hearing how this is working for you, too.