Trust-Centered Leadership: Principles and Benefits

America is facing a "trust-deficit" that is as glaring as its trade deficit.

Extensive studies continue to confirm that trust is at all-time lows in the U.S. As a result, polarization has ensconced itself tenaciously in political, social, and community life.

Dr. Mike Armour seeks to reverse this trend with his emphasis on making trust-building a strategic priority for businesses, institutions, and non-profit organizations.

Cover of Leadership and the Power of Trust: Creating a High-Trust, Peak-Performance Organization

Mike literally wrote the book on Trust-Centered Leadership®. Published in 2007, Leadership and the Power of Trust was his response to a recurring problem which he saw in troubled organizations. To be specific, at the heart of organizational dysfunction he routinely found issues of trust that were either unrecognized, unaddressed, or unresolved.

His book identifies five things that people must feel in order for trust to prevail. And it devotes an entire chapter to each of seven qualities which are the hallmark of highly-trusted leaders.

Mike's keynotes, breakouts, and workshops frequently elaborate on key principles from his book. In these presentation he highlights the three arenas of trust-building in which leaders must excel if they are to be trusted by those they lead.

What is Trust-Centered Leadership®?

Trust-Centered Leadership® is an approach to leading and developing organizations that puts trust-building at the forefront of the leadership agenda. Those who practice Trust-Centered Leadership® measure every decision, every action, and every initiative against the goal of maximizing trust in themselves as leaders and within the organization as a whole.

Trust-Centered Leadership® does not replace other styles of leadership. Instead, it works alongside existing leadership styles to intensify the leader's credibility, leverage, and impact.

Why is Trust-Centered Leadership® important?

Trust is the glue that holds your organization together and the lubricant that allows it to run smoothly. When trust breaks down, the result is fear, anxiety, suspicion, and insecurity. Communication becomes closed and self-serving. Turf-guarding and self-protection take over. Morale sags. People dig in their heels. They resist change, even when change is essential for survival. In this atmosphere productivity inevitably plummets, dragging profits down with it.

What solution does Trust-Centered Leadership® provide?

Trust-Centered Leadership® counters fear and anxiety by creating a high-trust culture where people feel safe, hopeful, and energized. In this atmosphere of trust everyone is free to contribute fully,

  • offering innovative solutions
  • taking the initiative in overcoming obstacles
  • taking appropriate risks
  • and voicing personal viewpoints openly, without fear of reprisal

Countless studies have confirmed that workers are more productive and that managers make more creative decisions in high-trust environments.

Is Trust-Centered Leadership® Primarily for Organizations in Trouble?

Far from it. As Dr. Armour points out in his keynotes and presentations, the seeds of distrust are present in even the healthiest of organizations. They are like weed seeds ready to take over an untended garden.

Leaders in healthy companies and institutions use the principles of Trust-Centered Leadership® proactively to keep distrust from ever gaining a foothold.

Trust-Centered Leadership enhances a leaders credibility, leverage, and impact

What will you gain from Trust-Centered Leadership®?

Synergy and Creativity

  • An atmosphere in which people are more inclined to collaborate
  • Broader sharing of ideas and resources as people are less concerned with protecting their own turf

Open and Responsive Communication

  • A climate of truth-telling that provides timely, dependable feedback and keeps your organization grounded in reality
  • Straight-forward communication that reduces the prevalence of hidden agendas and unhealthy speculation

Adaptability and Speed

  • A greater capacity for taking change in stride
  • Greater potential for high performance, since team members are more confident that they can rely on one another

What concrete results can your organization expect?

  • An improved bottom line created by timely responses to threats, opportunities, and changes in your industry
  • Greater cooperation from workers when management announces significant changes or asks for extraordinary effort
  • Less morale-killing back-biting and speculation
  • Increased confidence and loyalty, which keeps your best people on board
  • A motivated workforce where every person feels uniquely valued and appreciated
  • Eager workers who know that they will be treated fairly