AMBA speaker emphasizes value of trusted leadership

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Grand Rapids, Mich. — David Horsager said a global study asked people, "Why do you want to work at a specific company?" The No. 1 answer: "Trusted leadership."

Not money. Trust.

For management to consistently build trust in employees, it takes time, consistency and sincerity, but Horsager said it's worth it.

"Every time trust increases a little bit, output, morale, production [and] innovation went up," Horsager said in a keynote speech Feb. 15 at the American Mold Builders Association's annual conference in Grand Rapids. With trust, employees are more willing to share ideas, he said.

Horsager is the president and CEO of the Trust Edge Leadership Institute in Mahtomedi, Minn. He directs a global study called the Trust Outlook.

"Everything of value is built on trust, and lack of trust is the biggest expense we have," he said.

The opposite of trust — suspicion — can be corrosive to a business, Horsager said.

Horsager gave what he called the Eight Pillars of Trust: "These are the core issues that we have to get good at." Which are: clarity, compassion, character, competency, commitment to a cause beyond themselves, connection to collaborate with others, contribution and consistency.

"We trust people that do it right over what's easy," Horsager said.