Relationships, teams, organisations are more likely to thrive when trust is present within their sphere of interaction. An absence of trust in leadership is akin to a cacophony – void of harmony and synergy. If leaders will lead effectively, if followers or disciples will follow with their all, then the presence of trust in these relationships is not optional. In fact, its absence comes with high stakes.

It is amazing what people will do in the light of trust. I know a man who walked on water because of trust in another man’s unrehearsed words; two brothers who forsook their family business in a moment, based on trust. Or do I go beyond the Bible to tell you about one who followed his Fuhrer until he took his dying breath. Joseph Goebbels did not just follow Adolf Hitler until Adolf died but followed until the moment he died – after taking the life of his six children alongside his wife for trust in his master’s mandate, dead or alive – or at least until death.

In today’s world, high performing teams in organisations, athletics, military, government etc are known to be built on trust as one of the main pillars for success. High performing teams value trust-building as an integral part of their visionary journey.

What really is ‘trust’ and how can this be sustainably built either as a leader or a follower!? Yes, as a follower too!

I once attended a revival prayer meeting in London where I was paired with an elderly Christian in the faith to pray. As we wrapped up our prayer session and started to converse around the issue of faith, he said something remarkable and quite practical: ‘an absence of rest after receiving God’s promise over a matter is an indication of an absence of trust.’ It sounded to me like, you can’t rest if you don’t trust.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines Trust as ‘an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.’ This definition is a whole bunch to unpack but I think almost every word cited carries a weight of essence. However, one thing is clear – for relational trust to exist, there has to be at least 2 parties; with a sense of responsibility displayed through character, ability, strength, or truth from at least one party, even if only perceived.

Beyond being aware of the importance of trust, it is essential to create a culture that fosters the development of trust on every plane. Click To Tweet

Since we have just highlighted a basic prerequisite for relational trust, it is important to mention that trust exists on several relational planes: the vertical plane – God-man; and the horizontal plane – man-man e.g. spouses, business partners, work teams etc. It is important we prosper on these fronts because the presence of thriving trust fosters safety, innovation, creativity, collaboration, creative thinking and productivity. On the faith plane, trust emboldens our faith-walk. As we nurture trust, we will arise to do the impossible without fear or doubt, while celebrating each other’s uniqueness in Christ – every joint supplying, as Paul cited.

Building trust is a process – a journey with defining moments. Some persons will say they are largely introverted. Wait until they become quite comfortable around you then they leave you wondering at their level of extroversion and openness. This simply suggests they developed a level of trust with time, within the confines of that friendship.

Beyond being aware of the importance of trust, it is essential to create a culture that fosters the development of trust on every plane. As we dive further into the art of building trust across the several relational planes we have identified, it is worth bearing in mind this stellar, ground-breaking scripture:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths – Prov. 3:5-6 NKJV

Until we meet again, share with me your thoughts on this: Should a man trust in himself?

Love and Light!

Emmanuel Agbonika


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