Trustworthiness is the most important quality any leader must possess. Trustworthiness is a part of integrity, trustworthiness defines the character of a leader, or the lack thereof. It is earned over time by impeccable behavior. When you make a statement, make sure that it holds ... that you stick to it. This requires that before you are making such a statement you must think thoroughly about it, understanding its implications. Statements made with a very short half life will over time undermine your credibility, hence your trustworthiness becomes questionable, to say the least. After all, who wants to follow someone with questionable trustworthiness?
When you give your word, then keep it. Always. Period. Your word must be law in the universe. Treat it as such and people will respect you for that big time. Break it and very soon you will be a pretty lonely leader, leading nothing and no one anymore.
Be careful when making commitments. A commitment is just like giving your word. When you commit to something, then fulfill it. A commitment usually involves other people besides you. However, it can also be a commitment you might have with just yourself. Either way, you must do what you committed to, no matter what. The only possibility out of a commitment would be asking those you have the commitment with to let you out. Keep always in mind though that nobody cares about your excuses. It never matters whether breaking your commitment was not intentional.
Commitments and giving your word are ingredients building your trustworthiness, building your reputation as a leader with an impeccable character. Admitting mistakes openly and not blaming others is another important ingredient adding to your trustworthiness. However, don’t call, for instance, “breaking your word” or “breaking your commitments” mistakes made, because those are not mistakes, but character flaws.
Always remember: How you do anything in life, you do everything in life!
You might say that this applies not only to leaders, but to everyone. Indeed, it does and leadership does not only exist in organizations or corporations, leadership exists in our daily life. The mother, for instance, taking care of her family and kids and doing so with character and being an example, is as much a leader as those in organizations or corporations.