Clatsop Economic Development Resources and the Small Business Development Center are located at the South County Campus of Clatsop Community College:

1455 North Roosevelt
Seaside, Oregon 97138

Send us a message using the contact form below, or call us at 503.338.2402 for immediate assistance.


Leadership in Business. With Trust Comes Success

By Kevin Leahy- Executive Director of CEDR (Clatsop Economic Development Resources) and the Clatsop Community College Small Business Development Center

CEDR held the first ever county-wide business awards event on Wednesday, March 20th at the Astoria Golf & Country Club. Six awards were given out to the winners. The evening was a celebration of business in all of Clatsop County, and those who attended the event commented on how deserving each of the businesses where who won.

While the winning businesses were very diverse in the type of business they had, there were several similarities each one shared. One key attribute common to all was LEADERSHIP.

What makes a good leader? One key trait is TRUST. Trust between the employer/owner and the employees/staff is critical. What are specific actions that leaders take that cause employees to trust them? Here are ten actions that leaders can take to help create trust between themselves and their followers.

  • Actions are more important than words. People pay more attention to what a leader does than what a leader says. It’s important that leader’s actions are congruent with their words. Statements consistent with actions build trust.
  • Always show respect. People want to be respected for who they are and for what they do. When people are treated with respect, it reinforces feeling of individual self-worth.
  • Give people responsibility. Everyone wants to feel valued and believe he or she is making a meaningful contribution to the organization. By giving people responsibility to carry out their duties and acknowledge their contribution, leaders demonstrate trust in their staff, which, in turn, helps build trust between leaders and staff.
  • Be an active listener. People need to be heard and listened to. Many leaders go through the motions of listening, nodding their head “yes”, but are not really getting it. Listening skills can be learned, and good interactive listening skills build trust.
  • Involve people in decisions. People want to have a say in decisions that affect them. There are times when a leader cannot please everyone, especially with difficult decisions that impact personnel, but if workers are consulted through the process, it does not alienate them, and it builds trust.
  • Always respect confidence. Confidential information, particularly about people, should never be divulged.
  • Always be honest. Nothing fosters a mistrust of a leader more quickly than dishonesty. People prefer to hear from a leader “I don’t know the answer to that question” rather than an elusive or dishonest response.
  • Encourage risk taking. Many people live in a fear of making a mistake because many organizations operate a system of reprisals for errors. The most successful companies encourage people to experiment and to take risks.
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Most people want to be around someone who has a positive attitude and outlook on life. Leaders who are positive and upbeat are more respected and trusted than those who are negative.
  • Treat everyone equally. Treating everyone equally creates an atmosphere of trust.

While competence, intelligence, hard work, vision and the ability to get along with people are all important qualities of leadership, it remains that the last word on leadership is trust.

(Thanks to Edward “Sandy” Cutler, Ph.D, and partner of the Oregon Small Business Development Center (OSBDCN), for his “leadership” on this article.)

Contact the CEDR/Clatsop Community College Small Business Development Center at 503-338-2402, email at or go to the CEDR website at for more information on tools and assistance for local businesses, always FREE and CONFIDENTIAL.

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