Next week my good friend, David Horsager is re-releasing his book “The Trust Edge” through Simon & Schuster, one of the top five publishers in the country as their lead business book for 2012. David is an expert researcher and author on trust and wrote “The Trust Edge” to help educate business leaders on the importance and value of trust.
At Cimbura.com, we follow the principles outlined in the Trust Edge to build excellent relationships with our clients. When trust breaks down, it can cost a business dearly. Here’s what David has to say about why trust is important and a brief outline of what “The Trust Edge” is all about:
The Real Crisis and 8 Ways to Beat It
You’ve heard we are in the midst of a financial crisis. That much is obvious. But, did you know our financial woes pale in comparison to the crisis of trust we have on our hands? That’s right. Our most significant crisis revolves around a lack of trust. When even leaders of the World Economic Forum agree that our biggest crisis is a lack of trust and confidence, you know it must be serious. Sadly, few people really understand the bottom line implications. Not only does it affect credit and government relations, it affects every relationship and every organization. Professor John Whitney of the Columbia Business School found, “Mistrust doubles the cost of doing business.” I think it costs even more. Trust is not just a “soft skill,” it is the fundamental key to all lasting success.
Without trust, leaders lose teams and sales people lose sales. We all lose productivity, retention of good people, reputation, morale and revenue. The lower the trust the more time everything takes, the more everything costs, and the lower the loyalty of everyone involved. However, with greater trust come greater innovation, creativity, impact, freedom, morale, and a bigger bottom line.
All of my Graduate research points to the fact that trust is the unique commonality of the most successful leaders and organizations. Obtaining this level of trust isn’t easy. If you are looking for a quick fix, don’t look to trust. While it may appear to be static, in reality it is more like a forest—a long time growing, but easily burned down with a touch of carelessness. Trust is by nature solid and proven. Without trust no lasting, genuine success exists–just a brittle, fluffy, mirage of the real thing. The good news is that we can build this fundamental key to success. It is worth it! And it is the ONLY way to genuine relational or organizational success. The Trust Edge is the competitive advantage gained by being trusted whether as a mom or dad, a community leader or a consultant, or a business owner or government leader. Following is a synopsis of the eight pillars that build the Trust Edge.
1. Consistency: It’s the little things, done consistently, that make the big difference. In every area of life it is the little things. If I am over weight it is because I have eaten too many calories over time, not because I ate too much yesterday. If I am a good husband I am doing the little things that honor my wife on a daily basis. It is the same in business. The little things done consistently make for leaders being followed, increased sales and retention, and a higher level of trust. Consistency is the way brands are built and character is revealed. Even if we don’t like McDonald’s, we trust them because they deliver the same burger in Cleveland as in Tokyo. Do the little things, consistently.
2. Clarity: People trust the clear and mistrust or distrust the ambiguous. Be clear about your mission, purpose, expectations, and daily activities. When people are clear about the mission they do the little things differently. A clear mission unifies and inspires. When a manager is clear in expectations, she will likely get what she wants. When we are clear about priorities on a daily basis we become productive and effective.
3. Compassion: Think beyond yourself. Never underestimate the power of sincerely caring. It is the reason we trust our mothers over some sales people. We are skeptical if the sales person really has our best interest in mind. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is not just an old saying, it is a bottom line truth. If followed it builds trust.
4. Character: Do what is right over what is easy. Leaders who built this trust consistently did what needed to be done when it needed to be done whether they felt like doing it or not. It is the work of life to do what is right over what is easy.
5. Contribution: Few things build trust quicker than actual results. Be a contributor who delivers real results!
6. Competency: Staying fresh, relevant and capable builds trust. The humble teachable person keeps learning new and better ways of doing things. They stay current on ideas and trends. According to one study the key competency of new MBA’s is not a specific skill, but rather the ability to learn amidst chaos. Arrogance and a “been-there-done-that” attitude keep people from growing. There is always more to learn, so make a habit of reading, learning, and listening to fresh information.
7. Connection: People want to follow, buy from, and be around friends. People become friends when they build connection. Ask questions. Listen. Life, work, and trust are about relationships. All relationships are best built by establishing genuine connection.
8. Commitment: Stick with it through adversity. Followers trusted General Patton, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Jesus, and George Washington, because they saw commitment. They saw sacrifice for the greater good. Commitment reveals and it builds trust.
Trust does not start with the economy or government. The good news is that YOU can build these pillars and enjoy greater relationships, revenue and results. It starts with individuals becoming trusted. When will we get out of this trust crisis? When we as individuals decide to build the Trust Edge on a daily basis. Keep on being trusted.
David Horsager, MA, CSP, is an award-winning speaker, author, producer, and business strategist who has researched and spoken on the bottom-line impact of trust across four continents. His book titled, The Trust Edge: What Top Leaders Have & 8 Pillars to Build It gives the framework for building trust at work or at home. Get free resources and more at www.DavidHorsager.com and www.TheTrustEdge.com.
I highly recommend getting a copy of The Trust Edge. Come to the book release event on October 9th from 4-8pm at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in downtown Minneapolis. Besides the book signing, there will be the chance to visit with local celebrities, win prizes, listen to live jazz music, and see some close up magic performed by me (Tim Cimbura)…should be fun.
When TRUST is present, you can be more confident in your decisions and your business will be more profitable.
Think about the last large items you bought…a house, car, furniture, home improvements, computer, etc…. Nearly every major puchase decision you make boils down to an issue of TRUST. Do you believe that the company or person will deliver what they promise on budget, within the time you require, and with the quality/features you need? Likely you’ll even pay more for the trusted product or service.
Who will you vote for in the next election? The candidate that you TRUST the most will likely be the one you vote for…sometimes even disregarding political affiliations or stated policies.
Who would you like to date or marry? Especially if you’ve had a poor relationship experience, you will likely put TRUST on the top of the list of qualities you’re looking for in a partner.
Trust affects your bottom line.
Through the illustration of 8 pillars: (1) Consistency, (2) Clarity, (3) Compassion, (4) Character, (5) Contribution, (6) Competency, (7) Connection, and (8) Commitment, “The Trust Edge” tells you how — by doing the right things and making the right decisions — you can increase the level of trust that people have in you or your business so that you can ultimately be more profitable and enjoy greater success.
I give “The Trust Edge” my highest recommendation. You can TRUST the advice provided by David Horsager. It is well researched, practical, and actionable.