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  • Writer's pictureRob Douglas


“Trust is the currency of business” – Various Authors

I thought that I would start my blog by discussing the foundational issue upon which my entire leadership principles are built. I firmly believe that Trust is at the heart of everything any group of people will attempt to achieve. It is the basis, and the limit, and the guide rail. So let’s talk about Trust first. Before I go on – let me note that the quote, is not well attributed, hence my attribution to Various Authors. It comes up on multiple sites, all without further attribution. I first saw it in The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey.

Trust is a belief, a faith, and a hope in the true connection between people. We are all created and grow as individuals, with our own minds, and our own counsel. We can think and imagine and experience wholly alone, and develop our own beliefs, but we are also then limited to only what we can learn and experience ourselves. We think that what we know is all there is, and each inconsistency we turn into rules and beliefs about the world. And left on our own – we are wrong. And we are limited.

But humans found a way to combat this limitation, to be able to know more than one life, and one set of experiences – we formed communities and created communication. Now the internal thoughts and coalescence of our experiences can be shared – and in sharing, learned and taught. We can “know” that which we have never experienced. It is a great tool. It allows us to build upon that which came before us, avoid mistakes – possibly fatal ones – and advance our group, community, organization, and world.

But there is a danger hiding in this community, this communication. We can only learn from Truth, but we can communicate both Truth and Lies. And there’s the rub. The same community that can help us grow can destroy us. Which will it be. Well, we can measure Truth – and we measure it in Trust. Trust is a measure of the amount of Truth your past communications have had. It is a form of currency. It can be traded in. Trust that I give, can grant Trust between a new enterprise, a new endeavor. Trust can be multiplied – past Trust has given me gain, so I will invest in it again, and repeat business and work with you.

Stephen M. R. Covey teaches in The Speed of Trust that Trust is the speed limit of interactions between individuals and groups. That the speed of work is directly, and the cost of work is inversely proportional to the amount of Trust on the team. His goal is to first acknowledge that lack of Trust has a cost to the efficiency of an organization and encourage working partners to engage in exercises meant to increase Trust. It’s not a bad thing to acknowledge that Trust must be earned, not blindly given. Because not all interactions are True. People can be very positive, helpful, and encouraging – and they can be selfish and entitled, and limited, and protective.

In his recently published book Trust, Henry Cloud goes much deeper into the concept and role of Trust in our relationships. He covers such topics as “When to give it” and “When to withhold it” and how to “Rebuild it when it is broken”. Trust is a fragile commodity. It can quickly lose value if the experiences do not match up. Everyone makes mistakes. Ultimately, Trust is a choice. A choice to take a risk on some information, thought, or enterprise.

At Citadel Professional Solutions, we want to offer our expertise and experience to help you overcome a problem in your professional life, and help you grow in your skills, abilities, and value to your organization, community, family, and friends. To do that, we have to gain your Trust, so that we can communicate and share openly and truthfully, and find the path. For some of you, you may already know me, have experience with me, and Trust my intentions and abilities. I hope that you will help others by lending your voice in testimonials, and endorsements – by forwarding helpful ideas to your community circle.

But others will come across my work and wonder “Why should I Trust him?” Here is where you start. Over a series of blog posts, I will speak generally about my thoughts, experiences, beliefs, and learnings on topics related to work, effectiveness, efficiency, and leadership. Subscribe, read, and form your opinions. Interact with me, and with other readers through comments. Where appropriate, take small steps to try out new ideas you see here, or consider the implications of changes to your thoughts. And when you’re ready – reach out with a question. It can be a private message, or a public forum – whatever you are comfortable with, and give me a chance to offer some help.

Over the coming weeks and months, I’ll write on many topics, intending to share things I have learned, new ways of thinking that have helped me grow and contribute more to my career. Many of these will point back to Trust being a key element of success – from Vision Casting to Crucial Conversations, from Power, Authority, and Accountability to Hiring, Coaching, and Mentoring, and from Transparency to Managing Change – all of these items require building and cultivating Trust in your co-workers and community members. So, let’s start there – decide to Trust, and decide to do the work to build and nurture that Trust – and let’s get to work.

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