Cavett Roberts once said, “If people understand me, I get their attention. If they trust me, I get their action.”
When we think of a foundation, we are describing something that isn’t always seen, but when it’s lacking, it’s clearly evident. The most famous tower in the world, next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, isn’t known for its height, style or age, but because before it was even completed, it started to shift on its foundation. When a foundation is bad, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you have to engage in Herculean efforts to compensate for its flaws or tear it down and start all over.
When trust is broken, a chasm is created, which is more difficult to fill than the Grand Canyon. Unlike many who think trust is some soft skill, it is actually a very measurable commodity which can be calculated in terms of time and money. Think of the time it takes to get on an airline since 9-11. Why? After the attacks, trust hit an all-time low. Or look at the cost of due diligence, from closing a simple home mortgage, to a multi-million or billion dollar merger. Why? Because low trust slows everything down and costs everyone money.
The basis of this kind of trust is not talent, charisma or success; it is character and competence. As John Maxwell wrote, “Character makes trust possible and trust makes leadership possible.” The trust that comes from knowing someone’s character removes the hesitancy and makes a handshake as good as a ream of documents prepared by lawyers.
Competency is why my wife trusts my character implicitly, but she would never want me to do the most routine surgical procedure – nor would I.
Beyond Impression Management
Too many times, people abuse trust through forced manipulation, or what I call impression management, meaning they change who they are and what they stand for based on the perceived outcomes of the engagement. But eventually they get exposed. Like Warren Buffett’s comment about recessions, “You find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.”
One of the best books on the subject is Stephen M.R. Covey’s book. Yes, the son of the author of the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” His book, “The Speed of Trust,” does a marvelous job of describing trust as the greatest multiplier in business and in relationships.
“Trust is an economic driver, not just a social virtue. It’s an ability to collaborate, to innovate, to attract and retain people, to satisfy, to engage, to execute your strategy. High trust pays dividends; low trust is a tax,” Covey observed.
I would encourage you to take this one step further. Typically, we examine all things as it relates to the tangible deliverables of this world. Your trust in God will set you free and allow you to develop the trust factor for and in yourself, thus projecting this to other people. Only when you determine to build a foundation of trust will you exponentially increase both your personal and your company’s savings in time and money!
About the Author:
Jeff Piersall is co-founder and CEO of SCB Marketing, which publishes i4 Business and SpaceCoast Business magazines. Contact him at (321) 537-4941 or firstname.lastname@example.org