THE WATCHWORD OF ANY high-trust organization is integrity—and it has to start with those at the top. Leaders in high-trust organizations must serve as archetypes of integrity, and not just at the office or during business hours. For an organization to develop durable trust among all team members, its leaders must be consistent and predictable, having integrated (a) private with public scruples, (b) competence with benevolence, and (c) action with utterance.

Building a high-trust organization, rather than relying on a vague, generalized sense of honor, requires working to establish integrity as its foundation. Without leaders who have integrity in the first place, a leader’s efforts will be perceived as hollow ...

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