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Value of Trust

“To earn trust, money and power aren’t enough; you have to show some concern for others. You can’t buy trust in the supermarket.”

– His Holiness the Dalai Lama


Trust, is defined as our willingness to be vulnerable to the actions of others because we believe they have good intentions and will behave well toward us. In other words, we let others have power over us because we think they won’t hurt us and will, in fact, help us.

Value of Trust

Trust is the most important business and brand asset you have, especially in relationships with customers, clients, employees, and stakeholders. Our business economy works because people trust each other and the businesses they represent.

In our business world, we have many recent examples of how businesses have lost the appreciation of trust in their business dealings.

Facebook’s continued revelations about data breaches and access of user’s private data to outside private consultants continue to degrade the public’s trust in Facebook to the point any new venture by Facebook will be met with harsh scrutiny.

Volkswagen’s cheating on emissions tests will cause future public concerns for years.

Boeing’s handling of the 737 Max Jet’s safety issues continues to cause investors, customers, and governments to question everything Boeing says and does.

In contrast, businesses that build trust will always flourish.

For example, Holiday Inn monitors the trust of their employees in their management to a finite level where they can predict the profitability of a hotel based solely on the trust generated between staff and management.

Trust in Leadership

Trust is often incorrectly related to power.  Where power is mostly conveyed or demonstrated, trust must be earned.  To be effective, a leader must earn the trust of their employees to ensure their participation and allegiance.

Yet, what can quickly be lost one thoughtless moment will take a great deal of time and work to regain.

Building Trust

Since trust is one of the most important characteristics of the business world, it should be one of the attitudes we spend the most time focusing on.  Small business owners and entrepreneurs must spend a portion of each day thinking about building trust—trust with employees, consultants, customers, and the public in general.

Here are the qualities of trust that leaders need to consider daily.

  1. Reliability and Dependability: Leaders who are true to their word and fulfill their commitments encourage trust.
  2. Transparency: Employees become anxious about unknowns and tend to assume the worst when they’re not informed.  Leaders need to share their thoughts, feelings, and considerations.
  3. Competency: Leaders need to be capable of doing what they are supposed to do.  Just being a person with good intentions and is well-liked doesn’t automatically lead to trust.
  4. Sincerity, Authenticity, and Congruency:  Leaders who are insincere and inauthentic are not trusted.  Although many leaders think they can hide their true attitudes or contradictions, they are often quickly detected.
  5. Fairness:  Trust cannot grow in a relationship where it’s all about one person or in a workplace where all the energy is focused on the company or leader.
  6. Openness and Vulnerability:  A timely apology or admission of being wrong is a powerful tool to build or rebuild trust.

The Bible

Proverbs 3.5-6 says.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

The ultimate person to place your trust in is God.  From the definition of trust, we know that God is the only entity who we can firmly and totally “believe they have good intentions and will behave well toward us.”  God created us and loves us supremely.  His intentions for us are always true.

As business people, we want others to trust us.  As we do business, we need to find others whom we can trust.  Many times, we are guilty of trusting our instincts and judgments.  But in the end, the only one we need to trust in is God, and all else will fall in place.