2 min read

How Inspirational Leaders Build Trust

How Inspirational Leaders Build Trust


Roland Warren, Care Net


I’ve got bad news and good news to share with you.

First, the bad news: Trust can be a very tricky subject for many leaders. As we all know too well, trust is hard to build and easy to lose.

Ah, but here’s the good news: Whatever the health of your workplace culture, greater trust can and will generate greater employee engagement, so your people love coming to work and work more productively toward fulfilling your organization’s mission and vision.

Want to know how? Try this 2-minute story on for size:

It comes from Roland Warren, President and CEO of Care Net, which supports one of the largest networks of pregnancy centers in North America and runs the nation’s only real-time call center providing pregnancy decision coaching.

“To build trust in our organization, I used the basketball analogy of the ‘no-look pass.’ This is when you throw the ball to someone without looking at them. For a no-look pass to work, two things need to happen.

  • First, the passer (who’s not looking) trusts the other person will be looking for the ball.
  • Then, the person who’s ready to catch the ball, trusts the one who’s ready to throw it to them.

“In the spirit of this analogy, I developed a set of “no-look” trust questions I anonymously asked our employees. For instance,

  • When you hand off work to someone, do you trust they will do it in a high-quality way?
  • Do you trust someone will not give you work that they should be doing?

The collective responses revealed that some departments didn’t trust each other. That became the starting point to determine specific trust gaps that needed attention to improve mutual trust. I made sure no one was exposed.”

[shareable cite="Roland Warren"]Inspiration is like perspiration: It dries up, so you need to focus on moving from inspiration to action very quickly."[/shareable]


  • Care Net has surveyed with BCWI eight times, six years in a row under Roland’s leadership.
  • Rising trust levels have helped Care Net grow to highly flourishing and in the top 2% of all organizations BCWI survey.
  • Remarkably, all of Care Net’s employees are engaged at work. Think about it: 100% staff engagement!

These three inspiring outcomes make me want to throw a no-look pass of encouragement to anyone who wants to take their workplace culture to the next level. And that includes you!

It's Your Turn

Did you know that leaders can build trust by showing compassion to their colleagues while modeling fairness and integrity? It’s all part of “Inspirational Leadership,” one of the eight drivers of healthy, flourishing workplace culture. What team member in your organization exemplifies this “triangle of trust”—trust, compassion and fairness/integrity? (Add 10 bonus points if you can name a colleague who delivered or received a no-look pass of trust!)

Coming Up Next in on our Continuing Series

“Bet on Talent: How to Create a Remarkable Culture That Wins the Hearts of Customers”
Dee Ann Turner, CEO
Dee Ann Turner, LLC