At the heart of successful management is earning trust and keeping trust. That’s because a huge component of success has nothing to do with you– it’s about having a great team. Your company’s achievements come from the successes of your team(s), and you have to inspire them to be able to work together. And in order to do that, according to Jack Welch, they have to trust that you’re doing right by them.

Jack Welch is the current executive chairman of the Jack Welch Management Institute and former Chairman and CEO of General Electric for 20 years. In his over 40 years in business, he’s learned a thing or two about trust. Recently he sat down with Time and shared a few of those lessons. Here are the four most important things Jack Welch has learned about how to cultivate relationships built on trust.


I. Be Generous

One of the most important leadership traits is what Welch calls “the generosity gene.” It describes someone who is generous with praise, with recognition and with their money. That person is inherently thrilled to see others receive promotions and doesn’t get jealous. Welch also believes “the worst thing you can do is kick down and kiss up. Everyone sees right through it.” By doing that, he says people will assume you’re phony and only using them as a stepping-stone to the next job or company.


II. Inclusivity

Make everyone part of the conversation. Get feedback from all kinds of people. Listen to and understand where people are coming from so you can make informed decisions. Welch says, “You’ve got to show your peers that you listen to them, you care about them, you want their input and you’re not a know-it-all.” Then they’ll want to work with you, will be more likely to respect you and honor your decisions as a leader.


III. Team Goals, Not ‘Me’ Goals

Get everyone on board with your goals. Always let your team know where they’re going, but more importantly, why they’re going there. When coming up with goals, don’t leave out how they will affect your employees. You don’t want your team to think, “Wait, what’s in it for me?” One of Welch’s keys way to do that? Put change for the institution in context with your team’s personal life. Translate the business success into tangible things like job opportunities, raises and stock options.


IV. Prioritize Feedback

You have to let people know where they stand. No one should come to work and wonder what the management is thinking about them. Frequent appraisals are absolutely critical to get everyone on the same page. A simple way to keep track of feedback that Welch swears by – “I always had an index card where I wrote what I liked about what the person was doing and what they could do to improve. That handwritten note card shows you’ve thought about it, and you can talk through it while looking at the card together.”