A man depends on a woman that makes a family. A soldier trusts a soldier, and it creates an army. People trust people that build a society. Trust is the most needed intangible element for creating durable human bonding within and outside the community. We need trust and dependency in group living as we need water to survive. We need to depend upon others as we have been naturally designed to survive and progress as community beings. In more significant terms, human civilization is the output of massive cooperation, dependency, and trust among people of all times. Conversely, trust deficit among people caused much violence, war, destruction, and atrocity in history.
The level of trust among people within an organization determines its productivity, prosperity, and existence. A very high standard of a trustful environment is also a prerequisite for any leadership success.
People of the 21st century are proud to be the most advanced civilization. We feel honored and respected to be the citizens of this golden era of human history. Despite massive development in all spheres of living, unfortunately, humans are now suffering from a severe trust deficit in most societies of modern life. We constantly encounter forgery and falsification in our daily life and lose confidence in others. We are now losing this most needed human virtue at the individual, collective, social, and even family levels.
The capitalist creed has transformed our life values from community to individual orientation. It has accelerated contests among people with the never-ending greed of money and status. As the byproduct of the capitalist mindset, a deep sense of mistrust has now engulfed our lives and societies. Although humans are naturally structured to survive and prosper together, now we are moving against that basic natural design.
Anglo-Dutch social philosopher Bernard Mandeville wrote, “A bee community thrives until they live by virtues; when they abandon their natural way of surviving in community and moves for individual gain, the economy of the hive collapse. Ultimately all get destroyed.”
The food shortage can cause hunger, but decreasing levels of trust can cause even higher social instability, conflicts, violence, and organizational failure. Conversely, a high level of mutual trust can enhance cooperation in the workplace as a force multiplier to development and combating challenges. It can build a secure leadership environment, making individual life more enjoyable.
Now it is time. Leaders need to encourage all to cultivate trust, compassion, equity, tolerance, justice, sacrifice, love, patriotism, pride, and honor in their institutions. All should do it like a farmer cultivates food grains in his land. Leaders need to step ahead and plant essential social and organizational norms as valuable seeds. Farming requires a lot of learning, hard work, and patience. It demands preparing the land, a precise seeding method, and watering. It also needs protecting green plants from insects and needs weeding. The cultivation of values is similar to farming. The human mind is like a garden. Here important social and organizational values are the seeds. Weeds are the elements that propagate greed, and watering is the care to enhance the process. Insects are the negative propagations by the insensible or antagonistic media. Insecticides are the strong law enforcing capacity and the rule of law to safeguard a trustful and value-based leadership environment.
Indeed, it is an arduous task, especially in this era of rapidly advancing information technology and free media. Nevertheless, leaders are responsible for growing and protecting the culture of trust in their leadership domain. Trust enhancement culture will benefit every aspect of social, corporate, and even our daily lives. It will profoundly impact progress, stability, humanity, and enduring leadership.
Promote a culture of trusting people. Let your team members be confident to trust each other. Recognize trust to be the organizational code in your institution. Remember, trust results from a positive environment embedded with commitment at all levels.