Jane Austen once wrote, “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends.”
I feel similarly when it comes to my own friendships. The moment I decide to forge a strong and long-lasting connection with someone, I become extremely loyal. There is truly very little I wouldn’t do for my closest friends.
But that’s also why I can get quite picky when befriending other people. Not everyone deserves my loyalty, after all.
…but there are some people out there who just naturally command loyalty and trust. They tend to make for the best of friends as well as leaders.
Want to know which personality traits they share?
Let’s find out!
1) They are reliable and consistent
The most defining characteristic is, of course, reliability.
If someone keeps canceling on you and never keeping their word, you won’t find them very trustworthy, will you?
Each time they fail to demonstrate reliability, each time they act flaky, and each time they don’t put in consistent effort to keep the connection alive, you lose a bit of patience, trust, and respect.
This is why all my closest friends are the exact opposite. If we schedule a call, they show up. If we make plans to go for dinner, they rarely cancel. If I’m going through a difficult time and need someone to lean on, they are there for me.
Just a few months ago, I went through a really rough patch. One friend canceled her plans so that she could be there for me for five days straight. Another friend picked up the phone every time I called, no matter how busy he was.
A person who naturally commands loyalty and trust is someone who is there for you when times are good as well as when times are bad. The energy they put into the connection you two have is consistent. It’s a rock you can lean on.
2) They are transparent about their intentions
The next trait on our list is transparency, aka, honesty.
People deeply appreciate it when you’re transparent with them. No matter if you’re a political leader, a CEO of an organization, or a friend, the fact that you’re sharing insider information with others means that you have nothing to hide – and that willingness to demonstrate your exact intentions commands trust more than anything.
If a political leader shows exactly what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis and how they’re allocating different resources to different issues, people will feel like they are invited to be part of the process.
If a CEO of a small company tells their employees what their aims and intentions are in the long run, the employees will feel included and as part of the team.
If a friend confides in you about what’s going on in their life with no filter, you’ll appreciate their authenticity and will feel your connection strengthen.
As a result, trust and loyalty levels rise.
3) They lead by example
If you say one thing and do another, people won’t be very inclined to trust you. That much is clear.
For instance, I used to have a friend who would always spin great fantasies of what her life would soon look like. She could spend hours talking about dream after dream.
…and none of it ever happened. Her conviction was so resolute, so strong, that I couldn’t help but believe her, only to see her never put those plans into action. And while I didn’t have super strong feelings about it – it was her life, after all – I slowly stopped trusting the validity of her words as time went on.
I was motivated to achieve my own dreams, too, but I knew that if I walked in her footsteps, I wouldn’t get very far. I proceeded to surround myself with people who turned their dreams into actionable goals and felt my motivation skyrocket.
What you say and what you go on to do matters, even if it has no impact on other people’s lives. It’s all about leading by example. If you only ever demonstrate that your words aren’t worth much… your friends’ trust will decrease over time.
4) They have a clear vision and drive
Speaking of making your dreams a reality, people who naturally command loyalty and trust tend to possess two qualities:
- A clear vision of where they’re going
- The will and drive to take the necessary steps to get there
Trustworthy leaders usually display both, which is why they’re so successful at what they do.
They are visionaries, but they are also practical and realistic thinkers who can create elaborate plans that will get them to their final destination.
There is immense power in the combination of these two characteristics, and that power inspires other people to trust the person in question and to find them worthy of loyalty.
5) They are personable and relatable
It’s a common myth that people who command loyalty and admiration seem to be perfect. They are put on a pedestal, clothed in the finest brands and jewelry, their characters so polished that not a single wrinkle ruins their reputation.
The thing is, though, perfect people aren’t very… human. And as humans, we want to relate to others on a human level.
If we see a celebrity being clumsy, we laugh and think, “She’s just like me!” And the positive emotions associated with this platonic one-sided interaction increase our trust and loyalty.
The same applies to leaders, CEOs, friends, partners… everyone, really. Relatability makes us human. Showing personality distinguishes us from others.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. It is through authenticity that you will command loyalty.
6) They take accountability for their actions
Similarly, making mistakes is human. And never admitting to a mistake shows weakness more than it does strength.
People who are trustworthy take accountability for their actions. If they do something wrong, they will come clean and apologize. And then they will commit to doing better in the future.
The fact that they’re so transparent about their mistakes and so determined to learn from this lesson and grow is what makes them, once again, relatable and human, which in turn inspires trust.
As the leadership expert John C. Maxwell said, “You must be big enough to admit your mistakes, smart enough to learn from them, and strong enough to correct them.”
The mix of all three results in… bingo! Loyalty.
7) They have integrity
The six traits described above are all signs of a larger characteristic that binds them all together – integrity.
And what is integrity?
Well, as C. S. Lewis would say, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”
In other words, people with integrity are guided by moral principles and by the harmony within them. If you’re against corruption, you won’t let yourself get corrupted. If you’re all for honesty, you will always try to be as honest as possible.
And what better way to be trustworthy than to always uphold one’s moral code?
Most people don’t want to follow malicious minds. They want to follow good hearts combined with smart brains. If you have integrity, you’re the latter.
8) They genuinely care about other people’s happiness
Lastly, why would you have moral principles in the first place? Why would you want to lead by example? Why would you put in consistent effort to show your friends you’re reliable? And why would you be as honest as possible?
Because you care. That’s the simple answer. People who command trust are very empathetic – they genuinely care about others’ well-being, and they’re doing everything in their power to make a positive impact on the world.
If you’re a business owner, you care about your employees’ happiness, showing understanding and empathy where it counts, and therefore increasing employee loyalty.
If you’re dating someone, you try to learn about their personality and love language as much as you can to express your affection in a way that makes them feel loved, which in turn skyrockets their loyalty and strengthens your connection.
So, on a final note… People who naturally command loyalty and trust do so because they care about others and the world at large. They aren’t self-centered. They aren’t selfish.
They are, above all, kind.