Are you surprised to see courage here as a Key Trait? Never thought of yourself as courageous? In our experience, courage plays an important role in building trust.
We were once studying a company whose CEO was very consistent and highly operational. As the market changed, their market share was eroding and they missed their financial targets for the first time in twenty years. In an interview, he said, “We are a ship going down together.” Wow. It takes courage to confront reality and try new ideas.
New ideas lead to new beliefs and new actions, which may take us out of our comfort zone. It’s challenging to trust someone who is “stuck in their ways” and really reluctant to look for and try out something new. Fortunately for the company we just mentioned, the CEO and his team did not “go down together” but rose to the challenge of embracing new ideas and new actions.
Most people want to be liked, to be popular. If being popular overrides doing the right thing, trust is eroded. There are times when it takes courage to buck the current tide and take a stand for what you believe is right. In times like these, courage can build high trust regardless of the outcome.