Trust: The One Thing That Makes or Breaks a Leader

Trust: The One Thing That Makes or Breaks a Leader

by Les T. Csorba


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We are in the midst of a crisis.

The evidence is all around us. From the ashes of Enron, Adelphia, and WorldCom, there can be little doubt that the leadership that dominates corporate America is failing and extending to our other modern institutions as well—political, religious, family, and media.

Our culture’s legacy of leadership is in trouble, and the crisis is not one of competence but of character.

When Les Csorba writes “leadership is character in motion,” few can make this claim credibly. Csorba is a recruiter with the world’s premier executive search firm, who draws from more than twenty years of leadership experience serving a United States senator, a governor, and as special assistant to President George H. W. Bush in the White House.

Trust explores the nature of leadership as a distinctly moral calling. Csorba’s urgent call is for a new moral leadership over today’s dominant pragmatic brand. And as Csorba takes a look at the leadership style of today’s more well-known leaders, he unveils the “7 Principles of Trust,” demonstrating how the most influential leaders are:

Purified in the fires of their own suffering

Shaped by mentors, individuals who are willing to “build their lives into others”

Called for a purpose that transcends personal ambition

At the heart of this journey is a call to integrity, character . . . and trust. The critical question, then, for today’s leaders and for a new generation that holds the potential to change the future is this: How will you keep the trust?

Whether you have already embraced the call to lead, or you are part of a new generation of emerging young leaders, Les T. Csorba challenges you to step up and become a leader of character. The need is great. The time is now. And with Trust, the future is full of possibility.


“Les Csorba gets to the root of the leadership dilemma: we are all self-interested, yet true leaders master the urge to safeguard their positions and instead consistently put the interests of the groups they lead before their own.” —Sherron S. Watkins, Former Enron Corp. Vice President and Time Person of the Year 2002

“Les is right on target in emphasizing how important trust is in becoming a great leader . . . he centers on the most important principles in life—honesty and integrity—and gets an A+ in my book.” —Drayton McLane Jr., Chairman, McLane Group (Owner, The Houston Astros)

Trust is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding what character traits make a great leader. When it comes to leadership, character still counts!” —Joe Scarborough, Host of MSNBC’s Scarborough Country and Former U.S. Congressman

“Placing our trust in leadership is, indeed, an act of faith on our part. Perhaps at no time before has our need for wise instruction in this arena been so critical—for the sake of the survival of the world . . . and no book better at clarifying the scene than Les Csorba’s!” —Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, Founder and President, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

“I’ve read several manuscripts during the last 10 years, mostly on leadership, and Trust is the most comprehensive, readable, and accurate book that I have read.” —Archie W. Dunham, Chairman, ConocoPhillips

“Les Csorba puts into words a lesson I learned in business, politics, and diplomacy: Without honesty and trust, even simple problems can ripen into disasters; with honesty and trust, even the most contentious disputes can be settled.” —James A. Baker, III, Former United States Secretary of State and White House Chief of Staff

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595559852
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 09/21/2010
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Les T. Csorba is a partner in Heidrick & Struggles International Inc., the world's leading executive search firm. For the last fifteen years, he has recruited leaders in both the private and public sectors, serving one U.S. President, a U.S. Senator, a Governor, as well as several CEOs and national religious leaders. He was appointed Special Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel during George H.W. Bush's administration. Csorba also serves as the President and Director of the Palmer Drug Abuse Program and is a founding board member of the Foundation for Tomorrow, an inner-city private school project. He has appeared on national television and radio programs, including The 700 Club and CNN's Daily Show. He is married with four children and resides in Houston, Texas.

Table of Contents

A Leadership Dedicationix
Section 1The Leadership Call
1.A Certain Trumpet: The Leadership of George W. Bush3
2.A Trust: What Makes or Breaks a Leader15
3.Mere Leadership: The Essence of Trust25
4.Calling Leaders: Called, Not Driven39
Section 2The Leadership Famine
5.Leaders Without Chests: The Pragmatic Leadership of Our Times53
6.The Narcissistic Curse: Leadership Crisis in Government71
7.Corporate Mistrust: Leadership Crisis in Business94
8.The Affair: Leadership Crisis in the Church121
9.The Prodigal Father: Leadership Crisis in the Home139
10.In Celebrity We Trust: The New Celebrity Leader165
Section 3The Leadership Life
11.The Leadership Club: The Value of Trust185
12.Leaders with Chests: Leadership Found205
13.The 7 Principles of the Trust: Building Trust222
Conclusion--The Keep What Is Your "Keep"?245
AppendixThe Leader Check--Becoming a Trusted Leader250
About the Author277

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