Integrity and Trust

What’s the difference?

When it comes to leadership, both integrity and trust are important, and they are different.  According to WikiDiff:

  • “As a noun, the difference between integrity and trust is that integrity is steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code, while trust is confidence in, or reliance on a person or quality. 
  • As a verb, trust is to place confidence in; to rely on, to confide or repose faith into someone or something.
  • As an adjective, trust is creating a space that is secure and/or safe.”

Integrity: living your values

It is important as a leader to demonstrate through our behaviors that we have a moral and ethical compass.  There is a lot to consider with integrity; here are 10 behaviors that demonstrate integrity in a leader:

integrity traits
  1. Be honest & truthful 
  2. Listen first
  3. Have a servant mindset
  4. Demonstrate vulnerability
  5. Be congruent & consistent
  6. Be values driven
  7. Confront issues
  8. Practice accountability
  9. Trust others
  10. Deliver results

What would you add to this list?  Walking our talk as a leader is not always easy and it takes courage and discipline to be in a place of Integrity with consistency. 

Trust: responding to integrity

Trust is connected to integrity very closely.  For someone to feel trust with another person, that person must demonstrate the behaviors of Integrity listed above.  Without those behaviors being demonstrated consistently, trust will not occur or will be broken.  Simon Sinek does a great job describing trust in this 4 minute YouTube video. 

In this video Sinek says:

Team trust

“You can’t teach people to trust; trust is a feeling, as is loyalty towards people or an organization. 

  • Trust evolves or is earned over time
  • Trust takes a series of actions that prove you are worthy of trust

To build trust in Organizations:

  • Leaders determine the environment
  • Staff feel safe when they feel they can be their best selves

When someone does not feel safe, they become cynical and become paranoid; they become self-interested.  They will do things to protect themselves that will ultimately damage the culture and the company.”


Leading with integrity generates trust

Consider the two leadership attitude questions below:

  1. How do I get the most from my people?
  2. How do I create an environment where my people can work at their natural best?

Which mindset do you think creates trusting teams? The second question, because it comes from a servant mindset.  The second question focuses on the individual team members and placing, guiding and developing them to be their natural best!  Here is another You Tube by Simon Sinek on creating Trusting Teams

Leadership Challenge:  We earn and develop trust with our staff members when we walk our talk with integrity as leaders.  Do a quick check-in with the list of behaviors above and identify a couple of areas you may need to focus on to increase your ability to come from a place of Integrity and continue to earn trust with your team.

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