Trust is central to all of life. Without authentic, reliable trust there is no basis for a relationship—and no basis for belief or faith.

Trust is the cornerstone and baseline of every sustainable network. Network marketing is not a product business—it is a relationship business. It is a business based on building effective and powerful teams, and powerful teams can be built only upon a strong foundation of trust. A powerful team values all its members, not just the guy who can sink a basket from half court or give that great presentation from the front of the room.

Without trust, people will not stay in the business. If I could bottle trust, I would distribute it to everyone in our organization.

Of course, we can’t bottle it—but we can build it.

How do you build trust? Simply by being trustworthy. Trust is built upon a series of experiences, large and small, that lead over time to an understanding or confidence in the safety and security of this particular relationship or situation. In other words, you build it by being consistent and reliable in your words and in your actions. You build it by doing what you say you’ll do. You build it by being constant in your belief in others, which sometimes means holding onto someone else’s dream and believing in them when they’re having trouble believing in themselves.

What do trustworthy networking leaders do?

They respect others, encourage growth and foster respectful relationships within the team. They tell the truth, but always with compassion and kindness. They have good personal boundaries. They work hard and don’t shirk responsibility. They never abandon people. They show up when times are tough. They respect the level of personal growth that building a network demands and they teach willingly and often. They go the extra mile for their people. They never make promises they can’t keep—and never promise that it will be easy. They love elevating others rather than themselves. They always edify their leaders, both up and down the line, and speak respectfully of all members. They encourage the best in others.

Trust develops in an organization when the people within that organization value and show mutual respect for the diversity and individual growth of every person.

Every action you take within your network defines your value and your ability to create a culture of trust. If you succeed in developing that trust, you will truly enjoy the fruits of a community of lasting friendships and sustainable income for all.

ANA MCCLELLAN is a network marketing leader
and top producer who places a high value on
education. She lives in Hadley, Massachusetts.