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4 Things Influencers Should Know About Trust

When it comes to leadership and influence, we rarely talk about trust. When we do, it’s usually in terms of honesty and integrity. Questions like: “Can I trust you to honor your word?” or “Can you be trusted with finances?” usually come to mind. Those questions are important, but the truth is, trust is a far deeper issue, and when it comes to your team, employees, congregation or followers, trust may be the single most important connection you can build. To achieve that connection, here are four principles every leader and influencer should know:

1. Trust doesn’t come easily. This is the most marketed, sold, pitched to and promoted generation in history. They’ve grown up around brand names, Super Bowl commercials and sales pitches. They make judgements about everything they encounter through apps like “Yelp.” That’s why when you tell them your conference will “shake nations” or your new book will “transform the culture” they’re naturally skeptical—and should be. They’re weary of all the hype and have learned to see through it.

2. They stopped trusting early in life. Half of all American children will witness their parents’ divorce. In fact, nearly that many will see the breakup of a parent’s second marriage, and one of every 10 will experience three or more parental divorces. We can pretend it doesn’t impact kids, or convince ourselves that “it’s for the good of the children,” but a study six years after their parents’ marriage breakup revealed that even after all that time these children tended to be “lonely, unhappy, anxious and insecure.”

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Phil Cooke is the founder and CEO of Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles (CookeMediaGroup.com) where his team helps church, ministry, and nonprofit organizations engage the culture more effectively through media. He's a filmmaker, media consultant, and author of "Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media."