Keep Your Hands on the Table: Building Trust In Your Leadership

Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships. – Stephen R. Covey

Another biblical philosophy of leadership is keeping all hands on the table. This philosophy is one of trust and confidence. A leader should always lead trust-filled by those who follow and must conduct themselves both publicly and privately with confidence.

A popular late-night game our family plays on our RV trips is Monopoly. Nestled in the quiet North Georgia mountains, our gameplay fills the night air with laughing and screaming. Everyone is fierce and competitive. Yet, I continuously look for with my cheating, deceptive children are their hands on the table. Can I see their hands? If not, I quickly assume they are somehow cheating.

The handshake is said to have been created to show both persons’ hands of no ill will. The shaking of the hands exposes any hidden weapons. Like playing cards, to prevent any deception or dishonesty, a player must keep all hands on the card table. Hands are essential because they reveal a person’s heart, and a leader must be diligent in keeping them pure. A leader with clean hands is mighty for “those with clean hands become stronger and stronger (Job 17:9).”

Accountability must be at the forefront to lead with clean hands. It is providing answers before being asked. It is leading, showing your hands before ever requested. Regarding an organization’s finances, consistent financial summaries before required is a good practice. It is good to report any significant abnormal financial expense though a leader has full permission to spend. It is always good practice to be a diligent steward of the costs.

When making substantial leadership decisions, a well-informed council or board is crucial. A leader must never go to war or make a huge decision without the proper and wise counsel (Proverbs 24:6). Such great leadership moves do not happen hastily. They are a set of events accumulating into one decision, which will ultimately reflect upon the leader. Throughout the process, a leader should create such a system that will consistently communicate on regular basis decisions made to bring about success.

Overall, to achieve success by keeping your hands on the table, the leader must be trustworthy. Paul expressed the importance of credible leadership. He wrote, “a person put in charge as a manager must be trustworthy (1 Corinthians 4:12).” A trustworthy leader can walk in confidence when they walk in integrity and sincerity (Proverbs 10:9).

It is also essential for a leader to keep the confidence and trust of the people they attend. People entrust their intimate affairs to Christian leaders. We advise and guide health, marriage, legal situations, relationships, careers, and even more intimate circumstances. All information shared should be kept in strict confidence and not shared with anyone.

We are encouraged in Proverbs that whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered (Proverbs 11:13). An honest leader who holds his tongue and mouth from sharing other’s secrets will keep themselves out of trouble (Proverbs 21:23). Another great promise provided to a leader state God’s glory will be upon the one who conceals (Proverbs 25:2).

To build trustworthiness is performing one trustworthy act after another. When a leader keeps himself accountable, he or she provides consistent answers before requested. Suppose a leader is always ready to offer the right solutions and conceals confidential information of followers. One will then be deemed honest and dependable. Leading with such honesty and dependability are forging ahead with your hands open.

5 Ways to Build Trust Between You, Your Organization and Others:

  1. You can never, ever over-communicate. Always be open and honest about the state of your organization.
  2. Keep open books. Communicate openly regarding your finances. Inform your organization how well or how poorly you may be doing. People rally around a financially open organization. 
  3. Do not lead a “double life.” Who you are in public should be who you are in private. You should be the same person in your family, your organization, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and the like. 
  4. Tell the truth first. It is easier, and you will never have to think of an answer. 
  5. Never, ever break the trust a person has shared with you. No, not even to your spouse or best friend. Be a bank of confidence with iron gates so no one can steal other’s faith invested in you. 

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