Trust is built and maintained by many small actions over time.

Trust is not a matter of technique, tricks, or tools but of character.

We are trusted because of our way of being, not because of our polished exteriors or our expertly crafted communications.

Here are some quotes that may be useful to consider as you think about the role of trust in your life and leadership:

1. "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." --Warren Buffett

2. "We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk." --Thomas Moore

3. "The glue that holds all relationships together--including the relationship between the leader and the led--is trust, and trust is based on integrity." --Brian Tracy

4. "Trust is like blood pressure. It's silent, vital to good health, and if abused it can be deadly." --Frank Sonnenberg, author of Follow Your Conscience

5. "Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

6. "Better to trust the man who is frequently in error than the one who is never in doubt." --Eric Sevareid

7. "It takes two to do the trust tango--the one who risks (the trustor) and the one who is trustworthy (the trustee); each must play their role. --Charles H. Green, The Trusted Advisor

8. "The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say 'I.' And that's not because they have trained themselves not to say 'I.' They don't think 'I.' They think 'we'; they think 'team.' They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don't sidestep it, but 'we' gets the credit.... This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done." --Peter Drucker, author of Managing for the Future

9. "Trust is built when someone is vulnerable and not taken advantage of." --Bob Vanourek, author of Triple Crown Leadership

10. "The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them." --Ernest Hemingway

11. "If you don't have trust inside your company, then you can't transfer it to your customers." --Roger Staubach

12. "The people when rightly and fully trusted will return the trust." --Abraham Lincoln

13. "Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work." --Warren Bennis

14. "Trust, but verify." --Ronald Reagan

15."Trust each other again and again. When the trust level gets high enough, people transcend apparent limits, discovering new and awesome abilities of which they were previously unaware." --David Armistead

16."People follow leaders by choice. Without trust, at best you get compliance." --Jesse Lyn Stoner, author of Full Steam Ahead

17. "When people honor each other, there is a trust established that leads to synergy, interdependence, and deep respect. Both parties make decisions and choices based on what is right, what is best, what is valued most highly." --Blaine Lee

18. "When a gifted team dedicates itself to unselfish trust and combines instinct with boldness and effort, it is ready to climb." --Patanjali

19. "He who does not trust enough will not be trusted." --Lao Tzu

20. "Leadership requires five ingredients--brains, energy, determination, trust, and ethics. The key challenges today are in terms of the last two--trust and ethics." --Fred Hilmer

21. "You must trust and believe in people, or life becomes impossible." --Anton Chekhov

22. "Wise men put their trust in ideas and not in circumstances." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

23. "Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him." --Booker T. Washington

24. "It is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest, that holds human associations together." --H. L. Mencken

25. "When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective." --Stephen R. Covey

26. "To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved." --George MacDonald

27. "When mistrust comes in, loves goes out." --Irish proverb

28."Trust is built with consistency." --Lincoln Chafee

29. "Learning to trust is one of life's most difficult tasks." --Isaac Watts

30. "Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters." --Albert Einstein

The most precious thing in this world is trust. It can take years to earn and only a matter of seconds to lose, so it's important to keep trust at the forefront of everything you do. It can make a big difference in your life and leadership.

Start today with a concerted effort to cultivate, earn, and build trust, and discover the difference it can make.