The following post was written by an OKWU Board Member, Phil Stevenson. 

The Trust Equation

Trust is one of the most important elements of leadership. David Horsager, the author of The Trust Edge, says, “Trust affects a leader’s impact and the company’s bottom line more than any other single thing.” Trust is a necessity for a leader to have full impact and influence.

Rick Cott, in a lecture given at Oklahoma Wesleyan University in May 2017, shared the trust equation. The trust equation: (Intimacy + credibility + reliability) ÷ self-orientation = trustworthiness. Breaking down the components of the trust equation will provide a snapshot of being a leader worthy of trust.

Intimacy has to do with how confident and safe people believe you are. Are you able to be trusted with information? What level of confidence do those you lead believe they can place in you?

Credibility is your experiential frame of reference. It is how much people accept that you know what you are talking about. It is expertise, knowledge, and wisdom.

Reliability is how you deliver on what you say you will deliver on. It is doing what you say. It is being where you say you will be. It is your word lived out in action.

Self-perception is how you come across in your focus. Is your focus on you? How much do you really care about those you lead? Is your leadership based around your agenda? People rarely trust organizations. What they trust are the people in the organization. And the leader is the best barometer of the people.

An honest application of the trust-equation to your leadership will provide a better understanding of how you are received. When you have trust, you have the platform to move ahead confidently.