#5: Trusting “Those Who Lead”

Part I

I found Simon Sinek’s TED talk inspirational and motivating.

One of the ideas that he pointed out was “The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”  I resonated with this thought – I find it to be much easier to work with people who “believe what you believe”.  When I am trying to work together with people on a team and there is someone who is not engaged or interested, it can feel like I have to do all the work and am not getting any support or help.

Another thought Sinek brought up that I had the same mind about was the one about the two kinds of people:  “leaders and those who lead”.  He expressed that “those who lead” are often more successful because they do not set out telling themselves or anyone else that they are going to lead.   “We follow those who lead not because we have to, but because we want to…not for them, but for us”.    I thought this related to trust because if a person trusted one who led, then that person would follow. Canada Geese migrate each year and they often travel in a V shape.  I don’t know much about them, but I suspect that they all trust that the leading goose is taking them where they need to go. If I follow Sinek’s thinking, I begin to think that people are more likely to trust “those who lead” rather than “leaders”.

Part II

One resource I came across gave three steps to building trust, in a workplace especially.  They were:  listen, be humble, and give employees freedom.  I took from it that if you start by really listening, you are preparing to trust.  Being humble can open your mind to other peoples ideas and if you get many ideas together, you and your group members are on the road to trusting each other.  If you follow these steps, the employees will feel a sense of freedom and that is trust.

The second resource also related to a workplace. It expressed that the Golden Rule, treat others the way you want to be treated, related to building trust.  Also it said that it can be difficult to figure out how to treat others the way they want to be treated, since all people think and work differently.  I agree that the Golden Rule is a major part of establishing trust and I am going to continue to think about that.

Part III

Why:  I want to create a happier, safer world.

How: I want to start by having conversations.

What:  I want to build trust.

Pitch:  I want to create a happier safer world.  I am going to start by having conversations with people about building trust.  Would you like to join me?



Kouri, Matt. “Building Trust (Without the Trust Falls), Matt Kouri.” Mission Capital, 31 Mar. 2017, missioncapital.org/insights-and-ideas/blog/building-trust/.

Sinek, Simon. “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action | TED Talk, Sept. 2009, www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en#t-382439.

Peterson, Ben. “3 Keys to Creating a Culture of Trust.” Inc.com, Inc., 21 Jan. 2015, www.inc.com/ben-peterson/3-keys-to-creating-a-culture-of-trust.html.

Featured Image:   NatureFramingham


Sydney Taft Cole

4 Responses to “#5: Trusting “Those Who Lead”

  • I share your feelings, Sydney, both about Simon Sinek’s talk and about working with people who hold some of the same beliefs I do. One of the things I love about working where I do is that I’m able to see evidence every day that my colleagues and I share fundamental beliefs about education and what’s best for students. Interestingly, knowing this helps strengthen the trust I feel in them. Perhaps that’s another reason we follow “those who lead”: because we trust them.

    I also agree with you that listening to others–not merely hearing them, but actively listening–is crucial to establishing trust. At work, I’m part of a relatively large committee (12-14 people), the members of which sometimes have trouble listening to one another. This week, though, one of the members suggested we try a protocol to provide feedback on another member’s presentation. The protocol essentially dictated who would talk, when, and for how long, and what others should be listening for. At the end of the meeting, everyone seemed to think that the protocol was a success. By explicitly requiring people to listen and not interject with their own ideas, we struck the right balance between speaking and listening, and the meeting was productive and ran smoothly.

    I mention the above anecdote since you mentioned conversations, and protocols are one way to structure conversations. They can feel a bit artificial, but perhaps there’s something like a “trust-building protocol” out there that you might find interesting. Or, if you thought it was worth it, perhaps you could try your hand at creating one.

    • Sydney Taft Cole
      6 years ago

      Thank you Bob! I loved reading your story about the meeting where everyone had to listen. It can be hard to only listen sometimes, especially when you have a strong opinion about the subject being presented or are the type of person who is used to doing most of the talking. Listening can be a good exercise to test your patience or self restraint. I agree that a protocol can be extremely useful for working in a group who is not necessarily accustomed to listening intently to the speaker.

  • I can relate to your feelings about people who don’t believe what you believe. On multiple occasions I have been in groups where I have been the only one who cares about the assignment. I definitely see a difference when I work with people who believe in the goal and the results of good work. They seem to be more reliable and we get more done. I also love the example that you gave for leadership. I think that it is interesting that geese fly in a v, and trust a lead goose. It baffles me why though. I think leadership is a great tool, and with it, you can show others the importance of the project/ goal, and make them believe.

    • Hi Alex, I agree about people who “believe what you believe” being more reliable. I have experienced situations where everyone in my class was asked to complete an assignment and although many of them did, there were some who, in my opinion were so uninterested in the subject that they said that they “didn’t have time” to do it. I am sure many people have experienced this and know what a drag it is.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
      – Sydney

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *