There is one thing that is common to you and me. We have this as the root of our relationship.
It is also common to any organisation, nation, economy, and civilization.
This one thing, if absent, will destroy the most the most successful business, bring down the most powerful government, put brakes on the most thriving economy, destruct the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, and the deepest love.
But if developed and leveraged, this one thing has the ability to create unparalleled success and affluence in every dimension of life.
Ironically, despite its wide ranging and deep impact, it is the least understood, most neglected, and most underestimated possibility of our time.
You know what that thing is?
Trust, my friend!
Yeah, it’s trust…the foundation of all relationships, societies, organisations, economies, nations, and our entire civilization.
But ironically, despite its importance in our life and dealings with people, we don’t spend much time on building it up. This is because we sometimes don’t understand it and, at most times, underestimate its powers?
What Exactly is Trust?
In answer to the question – What is trust? – Jack Welch, the former chief of General Electric said, “You know it when you feel it.”
I believe that’s one of the simplest and closest definitions of trust. I immediately could relate.
There is this echoing, anxious feeling when no trust is present. I hesitate to take the next step.
On the other hand, there is an open, connected feeling when trust is present.
You remember what happened in 2008 when the world economy and the global financial system almost fell apart like a pack of cards?
The root of the malaise was lack of trust.
Big banks refused to lend to each other because they didn’t trust they would be repaid.
There were runs on hundreds of banks in the western world because savers did not trust they would get their savings back.
Investors pulled out money from the stock markets because they lost trust that their capital would ever return.
You see, trust is the oil that lubricates our entire economic and business system. Trust drives risk-taking that leads to innovation and progress of societies and nations.
But trust is still the least understood, and the most neglected possibility of our time.
Are YOU Trustworthy?
“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
The Internet jungle has millions of stories of people getting stuck in the tangles of mistrust. Viruses, spiders, and robots (non-human things) continuously move around in this jungle spreading this fear (of mistrust) among people.
What used to be considered trustworthy just because it was big (like Enron, Arthur Anderson, and WorldCom) is fast losing the race now?
And against whom?
The small, the little…but the human. Because in humans we trust!
Seth Godin says…
Small is the new big. Small is the new big because small gives you the flexibility to change the business model when your competition changes theirs. Small means you can tell the truth on your blog. Small means that you can answer email from your customers.
Small means that you can easily prove that you are human, and thus trustworthy.
You build trust when you tell stories from your personal experiences.
You build trust when you admit your mistakes, and also share how you emerged stronger and smarter after making those mistakes.
People – your readers, prospects, and customers – will trust you only if you spend some effort in building trust.
As a writer, you can build trust by taking a stand on the subjects you write about. Being nice to the subject for the sake of being nice is not what readers appreciate. Instead, they trust those who take stands on issues that are hurting them.
Take care of your people – prospects, readers, and clients. Earn their trust, and they will follow you anywhere you go.
This is the only way you can grow and prosper…in life and business.