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Igniting Greatness


Spirited Leadership
Most people know what the right thing to do is.
It’s the doing that gives trouble.

Harry S. Truman

Trust matters regardless of physical anatomy. Trust builds connections. Leaders need to build connections of trust before they attempt to lead. Otherwise, why in the world would we follow you? Even with a compelling vision, trust helps the vision be defensible and strong, not just rhetoric.

Yes, rhetoric. Several of my coaching clients stated that while their senior managers are talking a good game, they exhibit behaviors that do not support the values or vision of the organization or earn trust.

Nearly all men can stand adversity,
but if you want to test a man’s character,
give him power.

Abraham Lincoln

Peter Drucker, a management practice guru, once stated that knowing what not to do was as important as knowing what to do as a leader. The following gender-less “what not to do’s” destroy trust and create strife.
Lying and cheating which includes finding blame and taking credit for others’ efforts.
Promoting individuals based on who-they-know versus merit.
Blindsiding individuals by keeping them out of the communication loop.
Limiting access to key stakeholders and information.
Being divisive and a pot stirrer which includes backstabbing and gossiping – talking “about” the person instead of “to” the person.
Talking down to a person as though they are a second-class citizen and/or idiot.
Sharing confidences.
Yelling, swearing… mean attacks... temper tantrums.
Attacking the person not the problem, either privately or publicly.
Assuming you know a person’s reaction or what she/he thinks without seeking clarification.
Bullying... any and all forms of harassment.

Any others you’d like to add? I am always learning.

What I know for sure:
Everything communicates.
There are no neutral actions.
You are always on stage.

Trust is gender-less.
Trust matters in business and life.

Well done is better than well said.
Benjamin Franklin

Coaching Moment

Review and reflect on the list above. Please check the box of the behaviors that could be a tendency. Solicit feedback on the list. Is your self-evaluation and others’ perception in sync?

Imagine there is a box/boxes marked, please list 3 specific behaviors to counteract the perception to regain trust.

Be “all in” to change, that is what it will take to rebuild your credibility.

Get a TRUST baseline for you and/or your organization. TRUST is a must for productivity and rising profits. Contact Ellen today at 214.207.7718 or

TRUST is a noun and verb. Buy Ellen’s classic, Spirited Leadership: 52 Ways to Build Trust – 2014 International Latino Award Winner - today .

Understand the TRUST builders and destroyers for 12 distinct personalities with Ellen’s 2016 International Latino Book Award Winner, Happy in Spite of People.

For creating cultures of TRUST, engagement and results read Ellen’s Dallas Business Journal column.

Everything you do communicates. Everything either builds trust or destroys it. Take the #URImpact 31 Day Challenge daily for 31 days for maximum benefit and change.


An essential guide that all leaders and aspiring leaders should take along with them, Spirited Leadership is a journey you should begin today.

                                          JIM KOUZES, Co-author The Leadership Challenge and Credibility

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters
cannot be trusted with important matters.

Albert Einstein

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PO Box 12188, Dallas TX 75225 USA • 214-750-7718