Lincoln Mayor Stan Nader’s column

Trust: the foundation for what we say and do

By: Stan Nader
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Any book one might read about leadership, the first chapter is always about trust. In any organization, employees will only sacrifice for the good of the company when they see that displayed in the leaders of that group.  They will give so that others can gain and they will do that because they know they would have done it for us. 

This is called the Circle of Safety, and because we feel safe, we sense we are part of the tribe. The world is full of dangers and the one variable is the conditions that set the stage for the work environment.    A leader sets the tone.

Leadership is not a position, a title, a designation or an authority.  It’s how they exude confidence, clarity of purpose, energy and how they carry their people forward. It’s about the individual. Great leaders have followers.  If you don’t have followers, you are not a leader.

Employees have to know they have the heart of their leaders, not their head. Trust is reached because they have chosen to look after the person to the left of them and to the right of them. We call them leaders because they go first and take the risk before anybody else does.

We trust that leader because they would have done it for us. Being keenly aware of the needs of others is the hallmark of a visionary leader. They are looking and listening with a sense of awareness that reaches deep to the core of the soul. A leader practices doing, which means they are action-oriented. They know how to empower their people to take risks. They achieve responsibility because they walk the talk, display integrity and live up to their inner values.

A leader who establishes trust can build a sense of loyalty among those that must follow their lead. Trust is the degree of confidence you have that the other party can be relied on to fulfill commitments, be fair, be transparent and not take advantage of your vulnerability.

When leaders put the needs of others before theirs, they are demonstrating service above self. And when they exemplify this leadership quality, their people will follow them anywhere. It is best described as the “Tide lifts all boats.” And together, they will achieve the vision for the organization.

Trust is the “secret sauce” that provides the glue that brings us together as one and we accomplish the good of all.

Stan Nader is the Lincoln mayor.