Regaining trust in our leaders
Numerous publications highlight and list the value of trust and there is no shortage of recommendations for building trusting relationships. Yet, international surveys show a continuously declining level of trust in leaders and organisations. Only one in four general public respondents trust business leaders to correct issues and even fewer – one in five – to tell the truth and make ethical and moral decisions. Government leaders score even lower across the board. 
Trusting is a key component of human life. It emerges in response to consistent action and behaviour demonstrating good intent. Trust means confidence in someone or something. Distrust, the opposite of trust, is suspicion. We need and use trust in different forms in all areas of life. We need to trust ourselves and others to make choices that will have an impact on our lives and on the lives of others today and in the future. There are plenty of examples of trust as a scarce resource and it is often noticed and defined by its absence.
We easily pick up signals of suspicion and are acutely aware of the contractual limitations of trust in organisations. Without trust, the workplace is a group of individuals who focus on personal survival rather than creation and contribution. Research in the field of knowledge management and knowledge creation conclude that trust is a prerequisite to creativity in an organisational context. If we are to make the fullest use of the knowledge locked in our minds we need to trust and be trusted. We need to feel protected and cared for so that we can focus our energies on creation rather than survival.
If an organisation expects its people to be fully productive through hard work and commitment, it will ultimately have to convey a message of protection, security and demonstrate good will.
 Illes, K (2009) Defining Trust as Action, Philosophy of Management Volume 7 Number 3, pp. 69-80
 Pfeffer, J. Human Equation, McGraw-Hill (1998) p.180