A Good Tool for Leadership and Leader-Building Tool Kit

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Who We Are — Trusted Army Professionals

  • Honorable Servants of the National — Professionals of Character
  • Army Experts — Competent Professionals
  • Stewards of the Profession — Committed Professionals

Why We Serve

  • Love of Country — Family
  • Preserve the Peace — Prevent, Shape, Win
  • Defend the American People and Values

How We Serve

  • Ethically — Army Ethic — With Character
  • Effectively — Teamwork — with Competence
  • Efficiently — Stewardship — With Commitment

(Strategy x Execution) x
Trust = Results

As Soldiers, we know that trust is not only an essential element for mission success; but also, the foundation of the Army Ethic and our identity as trusted Army Professionals. We can have a great strategy and a robust plan of execution, but without trust, we will not achieve the objective. The degradation of trust produces obstacles that impede communication, efficiency, productivity and positive personal relationships.             

In his book, The Speed of Trust, Stephen Covey states that trust is “the one thing that changes everything.” There are many good concepts in the Speed of Trust. Following are two that link nicely to the central roles of the Army Ethic and to our Army Values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.

Self-Trust. Covey says, “Cultivating self-trust is crucial; if you can’t trust yourself, how can anyone else trust you?” To develop self-trust, he lists core principles that he calls “The Four Cores.” (1)  Integrity, (2) Intent, (3) Capabilities and (4) Results.

Well it’s no surprise that integrity is first. To me, integrity is the foundation for the other six Army values in that integrity comes from within and is outwardly expressed in the other six. Intent means positive motives and behavior – our character and commitment.

Capabilities relates to knowledge, skills and abilities the – when honed – produce self-confidence and competence. Results is a type of personal track record of accomplishments, but to others, it is your reputation.

Improve your behavior to increase trust in your relationships. Covey says, “To establish trust in your relationships, you need to behave in a trustworthy way.” He says two behaviors that increase trust are: (1) Speak the truth and (2) Be respectful. Speaking the truth is more challenging than most would think. It brings to mind a time when I was a witness in a courtroom trial. 

When I took the stand, with my right hand on the Bible, I took an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It causes one to pause before speaking. Is it the truth or gossip? Is it the whole truth or are facts and details omitted? Is it nothing but the truth or is it embellished in some sort of way? 

The caveat to speaking the truth is that it also requires diplomacy and discipline. Lest the absolute honesty you speak is hurtful or your candor so bold it is offensive and, thus, will produce tension and lower your trust level. Treating others with respect is one of our Army Values and a building block in the house of trust.

Covey goes on to say we should consider this principle of increasing trust in terms of a trust account.  “When you act in a trustworthy way, you make a deposit. When you act to the contrary, you make a withdrawal.” We can examine our behavior by asking, “What is my trust account credit rating?”

Coveys’ formula: “(strategy x execution) x trust = results” is a good tool for your leadership and leader-building tool kit.

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