Thought Leadership

Why trusting yourself is a competitive advantage

High-Stakes Leadership Mentor Sally Henderson explains why now is the time to embrace your inner intuition to unlock your full potential.

Sally Henderson, High-Stakes Leadership Mentor

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It’s no secret that trust is the bedrock of all effective relationships; in life, in society, in business and in leadership. So, why do we so regularly take trust for granted? Why don’t we value it, teach it as a core life skill and use it to our best advantage in the workplace?

The current political, economic, and social climate continues to feel challenging, overwhelming, and fearful for many. We operate at such pace and under such unrelenting pressure that mastering the art of trusting yourself is going to be your key competitive advantage for 2023.

Why? Get trust right in an organisation, in leadership, in yourself and a company can move at lightning pace, be innovative, brave and win. Get this wrong and you and your people will struggle to bring their best self forward; they will procrastinate, worry, doubt each other, unhelpful politics will blossom, and your business is set up to fail.

We operate at such pace and under such unrelenting pressure that mastering the art of trusting yourself is going to be your key competitive advantage for 2023.

Sally Henderson, High-Stakes Leadership Mentor
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The dangers of overlooking the fundamentals of trust

In a world obsessed with facts, data, and evidence, it’s easy to forget that we’re intuitive, emotive human beings. We measure so many things in culture and engagement to understand how well or badly a company and its leaders are performing. However, we overlook asking ourselves and our teams if we trust one another. This makes no sense to me.

Our very existence stems from our ancestors’ ability to trust themselves as they outwitted (literal) life and death situations: trust versus risk. This survival instinct, a gift from our past, has become disconnected and neglected which costs modern leadership and success greatly.

One example of this being the so-called ‘quiet quitting’ phenomenon which states that employees ‘work to rule’, won’t take risks to excel in their roles and consciously omit going above and beyond for their employer. I believe this can be linked directly back to a lack of trust in the workplace. Not a lack of passion nor a desire to excel in a career. 

Trust is the answer to quiet quitting

Employees that are trusted and trust in their leaders will not ‘quiet-quit’ because the magic dust of trust will engender a shared sense of in it together, shared accountability and most crucially shared success, value and meaning.  

As a senior leader, it’s yet more complex.  Building trust is multi-layered. It starts with:

1. Trusting yourself

2. Learning what your team needs to trust you in the face of adversity

3. Understanding what your team needs to trust one other.

It’s important to acknowledge however that in our ‘one-click buy’ society, trust cannot be bought, borrowed or faked. It’s akin to love - it can only come from within us and be given through free will.  Crucially, you can’t trust others until you learn to trust yourself.

Whether you are a senior leader or not, ask yourself these four essential questions in my Trust Framework Check-In from The Real Method™ to identify and understand how close, or far, you are to truly mastering the art of trusting yourself.

Employees that are trusted and trust in their leaders will not ‘quiet-quit’ because the magic dust of trust will engender a shared sense of in it together, shared accountability and most crucially shared success, value and meaning.

Sally Henderson, High-Stakes Leadership Mentor

And if you are ready to be brave with the Trust Framework Check-In, ask these questions to other people to glean their views on how well you do in each of the quadrants?

From my work as a High-Stakes Leadership Mentor, the powerful difference between those leaders who fail to master the art of trusting themselves, and those who flourish, is the fundamental desire and ability of the person (or team) to trust in themselves and their talent.

The good news is that mastering the art of trusting yourself is not complex. It requires the basics of wellbeing and high-performance leadership, which I see as Clarity, Confidence and Commitment to be acknowledged, respected, and actioned.

To overcome lack of self-trust and stop imposter syndrome, I encourage my clients to stay curious, be authentic and practise active listening over jumping to speedy judgements. These tactics will enable you to move closer to truly trusting in you and your leadership as your brain will remain open, avoid becoming fixed, and prevent your subconscious taking you down unhelpful rabbit holes.

If you’d like to practise a tactical tool to better understand your emotions and how these impact on your trust, ask yourself the question: “How do I feel when I think about trusting in me?” and watch this video to apply my 5 Word Reveal Tool that I shared during Covid. It will help you to understand your emotions, how to turn negatives into positives and create a compelling plan of action to trust in you fully.

And I’ll leave you with this thought: To master the art of trusting in you, are you prepared to make the effort to go inside of you? To ask the simple yet powerful questions and commit to changing established habits for the better? I promise you, your world and those in it will be richer for it when you can and do trust yourself.

Find out more at www.sallyhenderson.co.uk

Guest Author

Sally Henderson, High-Stakes Leadership Mentor

About

Sally Henderson is a High-Stakes Leadership Mentor. For over 20 years she has worked with ambitious senior teams and leaders in the world’s biggest brands and award-winning creative agencies, equipping them with the professional and emotional toolkit needed to excel; especially when the stakes are high. Instinctively people know Sally cares about them, and her caring is genuine. Working at the heart of the creative industry, she is here as your experienced, trusted counsel – supportive, challenging and candid. Her structured leadership programme, The Real Method, combined with powerful bespoke mentoring, makes the best better to achieve meaningful leadership impact and legacy. Clients include Accenture Song, Coca-Cola, Dennis, Forbes, M&C Saatchi, NatWest Group, Nestlé, Next 15, Rapp, VMLY&R

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