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Trust: Currency You’ve Got to Have!

Written by Chuck Olson

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Trust: Currency You’ve Got to Have!

I’ve been thinking a lot about TRUST these days. Trust is the bedrock of society in the macro and of relationships in the micro. It is the economy in which life is transacted. Life works remarkably well when you have it, but without it, there is untold dysfunction and collateral damage. Regrettably, you see the dark side of trust far too often.

In pursuit of a fuller understanding of trust and its implications, this month, I am sharing several verbatim quotes from two must-read books. The first book is The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey. The second book is Trust: Knowing When To Give It, When To Withhold It, How To Earn It, And How To Fix It When It Gets Broken by Henry Cloud. As you probably know, both authors are leadership experts and best-selling authors.

Below you will find a sampling of the wisdom found in these books that more than likely will whet your appetite for the whole read. (For additional quotes, please see the Lead With Your Life Book Notes for The Speed of Trust -Covey and Trust -Cloud).

Quotes from The Speed of Trust (Covey):

There is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, nation, economy, and civilization throughout the world—one thing which, if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, the deepest love. On the other hand, if developed and leveraged, that one thing has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every dimension of life. Yet, it is the least understood, most neglected, and most underestimated possibility of our time. That one thing is trust. Location 455

Here’s a simple formula that will enable you to take trust from an intangible and unquantifiable variable to an indispensable factor that is both tangible and quantifiable. The formula is based on this critical insight: Trust always affects two outcomes—speed and cost. When trust goes down, speed will also go down and costs will go up. When trust goes up, speed will also go up and costs will go down. It’s that simple, that real, that predictable. Location 679

Once again, I affirm that nothing is as fast as the speed of trust. Nothing is as fulfilling as a relationship of trust. Nothing is as inspiring as an offering of trust. Nothing is as profitable as the economics of trust. Nothing has more influence than a reputation of trust. Location 899

Trust is a function of two things: character and competence. Character includes your integrity, your motive, your intent with people. Competence includes your capabilities, your skills, your results, your track record. And both are vital. Location 964

The motive that inspires the greatest trust is genuine caring—caring about people, caring about purposes, caring about the quality of what you do, caring about society as a whole. Location 1824

As I’ve said before, the first job of a leader—at work or at home—is to inspire trust. It’s to bring out the best in people by entrusting them with meaningful stewardships, and to create an environment in which high-trust interaction inspires creativity and possibility. Location 6504

Quotes from Trust (Cloud):

Trust is the fuel for all of life. Nothing in life works without it—especially relationships. We are wired biologically, neurologically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically to trust. Trust is the currency that drives everything. So we need to be good at it. Location: 113

Without going into a lot of complicated science, suffice it to say that everything we know and have learned in brain science reinforces the knowledge that humans are wired for connection. And connection is built on trust. We can basically say that to trust is human and that when we can’t trust, we lose a lot of the human experience. Love, growth, faith, physical health, economic success, and more—these all run on trust. Without trust, things stagnate or even die. Location: 362

The process of trust begins by listening and by understanding other people—what they want and what they’re feeling—in short, knowing what matters to them. The task is to know them instead of to persuade them. People must feel known in order to trust. Trust begins not with convincing someone to trust you; it starts with someone feeling that you know them. Location: 585

Trust is not simply given, it’s earned. People must show us they are worthy of it, and that only happens through incremental performance over time. Time, not just performance, is a big factor here, and unfortunately, too many people are impatient. They base their trust on their impressions or judgments and not on objective data, which track record provides. Location: 1552

In my experience, the question of restoring trust is about more than looking at whether this person is doing what they did before. The question is: “Is this person pursuing a path that will make them someone who will not do what they did before?” You need to know whether you are dealing with the same person—or a new one. Location: 2263

The first step toward preparing and equipping yourself to repair broken trust in a relationship is all about you, not about the person who betrayed you. What must happen before anything else is healing—healing in your heart from whatever happened to break your trust in a person, a group, or an organization. It’s about reaching the point where you are ready—emotionally and cognitively—to think about trusting again. There’s no way for me to predict how long this healing will take or what all it will involve. Your situation is unique; your pain is individual. Your healing will take as long as it takes (and I encourage you not to try to rush it), and it will involve whatever is necessary to bring the relief, restoration, and wholeness your heart, mind, and soul need. Location: 2284

Know this: no one can predict the future. There are no guarantees that the other person will always be trustworthy. The only one who can assure trustworthiness in the future is the one who broke the trust in the past. That’s right, the person who broke your trust decides whether or not to earn your trust going forward. Their behavior will make the determination. All you need to do is to observe it, to watch it from the bleachers, so to speak. You do not have to be a fortune teller. You have to be an observer of their behavior. Location: 3144

May these words of insight and understanding be an invaluable resource to you on the never-ending journey of building trust in the lives of those you serve, lead, and love.

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Chuck Olson
Founder | Lead With Your Life

Chuck Olson

As founder and president of Lead With Your Life, Dr. Chuck Olson is passionate about inspiring, resourcing and equipping Kingdom leaders to lead from the inside out.  To lead, not with the external shell of positions, achievements or titles, but from an internal commitment to a deep, abiding and transparent relationship with Jesus. Serving as a pastor and leadership coach for over forty years, Chuck has a track record of building these truths deep into the lives of both ministry and marketplace leaders.

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