The Model of Trust

In this weeks' leadership model, we are taking a look at trust, a key characteristic of a high-performing leader.

Linda Hill's Model of Trust incorporates three overlapping circles: intentions, integrity, and consistency.


In her Model of Trust, Linda talks about the importance of:

  • Revealing your intentions, as opposed to assuming people will know your intentions. Take for example a request for 'last month's figures', a short extension that removes any doubts about those figures might sound like "Can I see last month's figures, I want to do a projection for the board meeting later today". With clear intentions, you signpost to people what they can expect from a conversation with you, an interaction, or an expectation.

  • Acting with integrity is where people are looking to see their leader acting in a way that values doing the right thing, for example, if the leader has made a mistake, do they own that mistake and apologise that it's their error? If they see someone else behaving in a manner that's not in line with the values, do they repectfully let the person know, rather than allow the behaviour?

  • Consistency is about ensuring that they are consistent in how they behave and communicate, particularly in front of different audiences, so for example, if a leader states that they are "fed up of the board meetings", and later that day they are seen entering the board meeting stating "I love our board meetings"! people may question their authenticity.

To employ the Model of Trust, consider your own approach, look through your own eyes, those you lead, your peers and your leaders.


How would they see you through each of these three lenses of Intentions, Integrity and Consistency?


Does this lead you to any actions that you might want to take, e.g. be more explicit in communicating intent?

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