When we trust others, we assume they’ll act honestly and truthfully, and be reliable and predictable. We also assume they won’t take advantage of our trust. Trust is the essence of leadership because it’s impossible to lead people who don’t trust you.
One author summarized the link between trust and leadership this way: “Part of the leader’s task has been, and continues to be, working with people to find and solve problems, but whether leaders gain access to the knowledge and creative thinking they need to solve problems depends on how much people trust them. Trust and trustworthiness modulate the leader’s access to knowledge and cooperation.”
It’s impossible to lead people who don’t trust you.