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THE 13 BEHAVIORS OF A HIGH TRUST LEADER

by Steven M.R. Covey

CHARACTER BEHAVIORS 1. Talk Straight Be honest. Tell the truth. Let people know where you stand. Use simple language. Call things what they are. Demonstrate integrity. Don’t manipulate people nor distort facts. Don’t spin the truth. Don’t leave false impressions.

2. Demonstrate Concern Genuinely care for others. Show you care. Respect the dignity of every person and every role. Treat everyone with respect, especially those who can’t do anything for you. Show kindness in the little things. Don’t fake caring. Don’t attempt to be “efficient” with people.

3. Create Transparency Tell the truth in a way people can verify. Get real and genuine. Be open and authentic. Err on the side of disclosure. Operate on the premise of, “What you see is what you get.” Don’t have hidden agendas. Don’t hide information.

4. Right Wrongs Make things right when you’re wrong. Apologize quickly. Make restitution where possible. Practice “service recoveries.” Demonstrate personal humility. Don’t cover things up. Don’t let personal pride get in the way of doing the right thing.

5. Show Loyalty Give credit to others. Speak about people as if they were present. Represent others who aren’t there to speak for themselves. Don’t badmouth others behind their backs. Don’t disclose others’ private information.

COMPETENCE BEHAVIORS

6. Deliver Results Establish a track record of results. Get the right things done. Make things happen. Accomplish what you’re hired to do. Be on time and within budget. Don’t overpromise and under deliver. Don’t make excuses for not delivering.

7. Get Better Continuously improve. Increase your capabilities. Be a constant learner. Develop feedback systems – both formal and informal. Act upon the feedback you receive. Thank people for feedback. Don’t consider yourself above feedback. Don’t assume your knowledge and skills will be sufficient for tomorrow’s challenges.

8. Confront Reality Take issues head on, even the “undiscussables.” Address the tough stuff directly. Acknowledge the unsaid. Lead out courageously in conversation. Don’t skirt the real issues. Don’t bury your head in the sand. Confront the reality, not the person.

9. Clarify Disclose and reveal expectations. Discuss them. Validate them. Renegotiate them if needed and possible. Don’t violate expectations. Don’t assume that expectations are clear or shared.

10. Practice Accountability Hold yourself accountable. Hold others accountable. Take responsibility for results. Be clear on how you’ll communicate how you’re doing – and how others are doing. Don’t avoid or shirk responsibility. Don’t blame others or point fingers when things go wrong

CHARACTER AND COMPETENCE BEHAVIORS

11. Listen First Expectations Listen before you speak. Understand. Diagnose. Listen with your ears…and your eyes and heart. Find out what the most important behaviors are to the people you’re working with. Don’t assume you know what matters most to others. Don’t presume you have all the answers – or all the questions.

12. Keep Commitments Say what you’re going to do. Then do what you say you’re going to do. Make commitments carefully and keep them at all costs. Keep commitments the symbol of your honor. Don’t break confidences. Don’t attempt to “PR” your way out of a commitment you’ve broken.

13. Extend Trust Expectations Demonstrate a propensity to trust. Extend trust abundantly to those who have earned your trust. Extend trust conditionally to those who are earning your trust. Learn how to appropriately extend trust to others based on the situation, risk, and credibility of the people involved. Don’t withhold trust because there is risk involved.

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