Where Trust Begins

The more I work with organizations, the more I discover what it takes to be great.  A great organization is made up of exceptional individuals.  And individuals bring the following attribute to the table - trustworthiness.  Ask yourself this question.  "Am I trustworthy"?  Not, do I think people trust me but do I trust myself and my actions?  This question taps into something deeper, something we know when we see it but don't often talk about - personal integrity. 

Integrity and trustworthiness go hand-in-hand.  At one extreme there are those we collectively agree have little integrity (think Kenneth Lay from Enron) while many of us would agree that Mother Teresa had high integrity.  We trust people who we think serve the common good.  And then there is this huge middle ground of those some believe are trustworthy while others consider manipulative. (Think political figures or religious leaders - there's two groups where it's so dependent on your world view). 

Regardless, a great team, department, or organization starts with personal trustworthiness.  "Can I be trusted to do the right thing?" Everything builds on that.  Once you've decided on the answer, look around at those in your circle.  It should be no surprise who you find are attracted to you.