5Commit to action

‘The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.’

Amelia Earhart

The basis of leadership is trust. In his book The Speed of Trust, Stephen M. R. Covey explains, ‘Trust always affects two measurable outcomes: speed and cost. When trust goes down, speed goes down and cost goes up. This creates a trust tax. When trust goes up, speed goes up and cost goes down. This creates a trust dividend. It's that simple, it's that predictable.’

Research shows that the two most important qualities for leaders to develop are respect and honesty. Unfortunately, leaders often don't live up to these values. The research firm Willis Towers Watson surveyed 32 000 people in 26 markets and asked them to respond to three statements. Table 5.1 (overleaf) charts what they discovered.

Table 5.1: Do we trust our leaders?

Source: Adapted from Willis Towers Watson, GWS Global Report 2016.

Statement assessed Agree (%)
Senior leadership behaves consistently with the organisation's core values. 56
I believe the information that I receive from senior leadership. 54
My immediate manager acts in ways consistent with his or her words. 57

Another research study performed by DataPad involving 2100 respondents in the UK gauged how much employees trusted their leaders. The survey asked employees the same question on ‘trust’ and ‘respect’ in relation to their executive leadership, heads of department and immediate line managers: 999 people responded ...

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