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Top Behaviors of High-Trust Leaders 

I approached this strategy primarily as a practitioner, both in my own experience and in my extensive work with global organizations. Throughout this learning process, I have identified the Top 10 behaviors of trusted leaders around the world that build, develop, nurture and maintain trust.

“Trust cannot become a performance multiplier unless the leader is prepared to go first.” – Craig Weatherup

When you adopt these behaviors, you’re making deposits into the “trust account” of others. When you demonstrate these behaviors, under stress – in times of crisis, impending deadlines, and personal or professional duress – only then, do you elevate your leadership to that of an Elegant Leader with Voltage:

1.   Talk Straight. Mean what you say and say what you mean (simple).


2.   Demonstrate Respect. Living the 7 Levels of Communication (practical).

3.   Create Transparency. It’s at the core of a company’s values creating an open environment (powerful) 

4.   Right Wrongs 

5.   Show Loyalty 

6.   Deliver Results 

7.   Get Better 

8.   Confront Reality

9.   Clarify Expectations 

10. Practice Accountability 

These behaviors always need to be in rhythm with one another, e.g., Talk Straight needs to be linked with Demonstrate Respect, and any behavior pushed to the extreme can become a weakness. However, you always have extraordinary influence on your starting points.

Self-Trust. The confidence you have in yourself, in your ability to set and achieve goals, to keep commitments, to DWYSYWD, to walk your talk, and also with your ability to inspire trust in others, and

Relationship Trust. How to establish and increase the trust accounts we have with others. An Elegant Leader chooses to go first, to extend trust first. Not a blind trust without expectations and accountability, but rather astutely with clear expectations and strong accountability built into the process.

The Elegant Leader system was created to give you better job performance, to have greater communication and engagement with your team and to have a healthier work-life balance. Apply the 10 + 3 Top Behaviors to create a graceful leadership style that delivers great results and long-lasting relationships with Voltage. Depending on your roles and responsibilities, you may have more or less influence on others.

“People need to know that you care about them and that you’re worthy of their followership.” – Craig Weatherup

The best leaders always lead with a decided propensity to trust, as opposed to an inclination to not trust. As Craig Weatherup, former CEO of PepsiCo and independent director of Starbucks said, “Trust cannot become a performance multiplier unless the leader is prepared to go first.”

The best leaders recognize trust impacts us 24/7/365. It reinforces and affects the quality of every relationship, every communication, every work project, every business venture, every effort in which we are engaged. It changes the quality of every present moment and alters the trajectory and outcome of every future moment of our lives – both personally and professionally.

I am convinced in every situation, nothing is as fast as the speed of trust. As a bonus, here are 3 additional behaviors to round out the Top Behaviors of High-Trust Leaders.

11.  Listen First. It means to hear, sure. It also means to pay attention—with your ears, eyes, and your hearts. Listen to more than the words. Elegant listeners look beyond the words themselves. 


12. Keep Commitments. Having integrity requires staying true to your word—even if it’s difficult, inconvenient, or expensive.  An Elegant Leader is someone you can count on to come through on what they promise.  

13. Extend Trust. The other behaviors help you become a trusted leader; this behavior helps you become a trusting leader. We should extend trust to those who have earned it, and be willing to extend trust to those who are still earning it

Want to know more about elevating your behaviors, perceptions and habits? Visit the Elegant Leader website and get our Ultimate Guide to be an Elegant Leader with Voltage absolutely FREE, no strings attached.

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