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The Decision to Trust: How Leaders Create High-Trust Organizations by Robert F. Hurley

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Chapter Six

Trust in Leadership and Management

When there is uncertainty, risk, and vulnerability, we hope that those in positions of power will help ensure fair outcomes. This longing for a benevolent, all-powerful ruler has been part of the human psyche since Plato wrote of Utopias led by philosopher-kings. Although it may be unreasonable for us to expect leaders to solve all our problems, at a minimum we want to be able to trust them. We therefore find it particularly unnerving when we are in a risky situation and must depend on a leader we do not trust.

Trust in leadership is critical in that it sets the tone for the rest of the organization. When the leader is trustworthy and expects this behavior from others, trust cascades throughout ...

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