4 pillars of trust new leaders must cultivate and build

Joining senior leadership comes with all kinds of new challenges. Here’s how you can rise to the occasion.

Pillars of leadership trust

For the new kid on the block who has recently been promoted to a role on your organization’s leadership team, joining the ranks of those highly experienced and tenured individuals can be very daunting.

Perhaps, you can’t help but question yourself about the unknowns to come and even your own competency: Am I ready for all of this? Do I really know what I am doing? Am I capable of driving success for the organization?

In short, the answer to all your mind-racing thoughts, is yes.

But to truly rise to the occasion of your new job, you need to first have trust in yourself and in those around you.

While this may feel easier said than done, consider this advice: as a toddler’s mom, first-responder’s wife and millennial SVP (that’s right, I’m new to leadership too), believing in yourself and your support system will enable you to successfully seize the opportunity inherent in your new responsibilities.

No matter what industry or type of company you work for, follow these four pillars of trust and you, too, will be able to show up and show out:

1. Trust in yourself.

You earned this position, so believe in yourself and trust in your abilities to drive success.Know that you are still learning (no matter what your new role entails) and make sure you remain proactive when it comes to continuous learning. Read books, and stay in touch with your mentor. Make time to balance your work and life loads. And, most importantly, be kind to yourself.

This is a marathon, not a sprint, and you have a whole career ahead of you. Like my dad always says: You can’t judge yourself in comparison to others; you can only judge yourself based on if you were better today than you were yesterday.

2. Trust in your leaders.

Obviously, they believe in you. That is how you got into this position, so continue to have transparent and constructive conversations with your boss and other leadership executives about how your performance is tracking, growth opportunities, tips/tricks and even advice.

They were once in your shoes and will more than likely be able to give you the guidance needed to navigate new situations and approaches to decision making. One thing to note—as much as you’re probably seeking positive reinforcement, I encourage you to also seek criticism, too. It may not be what you want, but it will certainly be what you need.

3. Trust in your peers.

Meet your new sounding board! Most leadership books advise that you complain up, not down, to maintain effective management. That’s true, however as a newbie, you should focus less on the “complaining” part and more on trusting that your peers have your back. From troubleshooting to getting gut checks, turning to other leaders can be an opportunity for information sharing, learning new tricks of the trade, and more. The truth is, these tenured folks have been there and done that—and will ultimately give you great relief knowing this is not the first instance you’ve encountered such a challenge, and it likely won’t be the last.

4. Trust in your team.

They have to trust you, and you have to trust them. There is no room for insecurities or doubt, because that will permeate into the work. The energy you give is the energy you will receive—so while it’s important to show some vulnerability as you’re getting into your groove, you also should stay focused and lead with confidence. Trust that your teammates also will rise to the occasion in their roles. The confidence you have and the trust you give will be equally returned.

And above all—be kind to yourself. Everything takes time, and no one is perfect. I can only reflect on my journey and the mindset that has gotten me this far, but by no means to do I have the answers.  Although the one thing I can absolutely guarantee that if you trust yourself and put your trust in the right people, there is no way you will lose.

Brandy Stone Butler leads Havas Formula’s Los Angeles PR Division as senior vice president.


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