Yesterday was great for me as a Duke basketball fan as coach Mike Krzyzewski surpassed Bob Knight to become the winningest coach in NCAA Division 1 basketball history. I’ve always respected perennial excellence over titles won. Duke has both, and they’ve done it while maintaining high academic standards, graduation rates, and citizenship standards.

Asked to name the single most important factor in his success, he responded, “The trust of my players.”

If you want to excel as a leader, you must be trustworthy. The people around you must trust your character, your competency, your commitment to them and commitment to the Cause. If any of those are out of whack, consistent leadership excellence is likely to illude you. Many leaders are trusted in one or more of these areas. Three of four isn’t bad. Four is necessary for sustained excellence in leadership.

Question: Assuming trust in the leader’s character is most important, which is next in importance: trust in competency, trust in loyalty, or trust in commitment to the cause?