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“A no-nonsense approach to building your business through relationships.”

~ Jane Applegate, syndicated Los Angeles Times columnist

Posts Tagged ‘trust’

Theo Epstein and the Trust Factor in Leadership

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Theo EpsteinDoes trust really matter when it comes to leadership? After all, leaders pay people to do their jobs. Trust is somewhat beside the point, right?

Actually, not by a long shot. Research both formal and anecdotal proves that organizations run as such suffer in big ways, including the bottom line.

On the other hand, leaders who treat their people with respect and who’ve earned the trust of their people tend to have an entirely different result. These organizations are happier, healthier, more profitable, and sometimes even win world championships after 86 years and 108 years respectively.

Last week I received a very excited email from my great friend and brother, Randy Stelter, a veteran professional educator and Athletic Director of Wheeler High School (and without question a long-time loyal Chicago Cubs fan). Randy is also the coauthor of A Teacher’s Guide to The Go-Giver, a curriculum for High School students.

He wrote:

“I was coming home today from an Athletic Director’s meeting and ESPN Radio was interviewing Cubs President, Theo Epstein. They asked him about the ‘trust factor’ he has with the players. He shared a story about sitting on the bench with a player in 1995. The player made a statement about the fact that no MLB (Major League Baseball) players ever trust management. Theo said the lightbulb went off and he vowed he would never lie to a player and that all contracts and conversations with agents would be on the up-and-up. He has never deceived a player during negotiations. He went on about ‘trusting and knowing’ the players and meeting their needs in the contract periods. Very refreshing and no wonder he has turned two programs around that had such world series droughts.”

No wonder, indeed. Of course he brought a lot of knowledge and talent to the equation. But, lots of baseball executives have knowledge and talent. That’s simply the baseline (no pun intended). Trust was a key factor for the man who brought the Boston Red Sox their first World Series championship since 1918 and the Chicago Cubs their first one since 1908.

It was the trust he focused so hard on earning that allowed him to operate without the — as Stephen M.R. Covey, author of The Speed of Trust puts it — “low-trust tax” that affects so many organizations.  After all, when your team-members know you care about them, they’ll not only negotiate in good faith; they’ll be committed to a team goal that is bigger than themselves.

As Simon Sinek, author of Leaders Eat Last so eloquently stated it, “Trust is a biological reaction to the belief that someone has our well-being at heart.”

Trust comes not by being demanded but by being earned, in small part by what one says, in greater part through what one does, but in greatest part…through who one is!

Mr. Epstein, as a public figure, is a fantastic ambassador of this message. But he’s just the latest in an ever-growing line of leaders who understand this simple truth: when leaders earn trust, they are nine steps ahead of the game…in a ten-step game.

Integrity and Honesty — For YOUR Sake

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Integrity and HonestyIn his new book, The Leadership Crisis And The Free Market Cure, John Allison defines Integrity as, “the harmony of mind and body” and says that, as a principle, it “guides us to act consistently with our beliefs.”

After a brief but brilliant explanation regarding how one cannot act with integrity if one’s values are either contradictory or not aligned with reality, the former BB&T CEO, now CEO of the libertarian think tank, Cato Institute made what I felt was another profound point:

“Many people view integrity as some form of duty. Integrity is not a duty. It is a means to improve the probability of being successful and happy.”

I find that statement to be powerful because if one displays integrity simply out of obligation to others, he or she cannot truly be happy. It’s only when one lives in integrity because it is congruent with their own values and how they wish to relate to the world that it can lead to happiness and personal fulfillment.

The extra benefit to living with integrity is that others respect you; they trust you more…and are more likely to want to be in relationship with you.

Mr. Allison’s teaching reminded me of wisdom from another person I also greatly admire, the late, Harry Browne.

Mr. Browne, whose classic on sales is – like Mr. Allison’s book on leadership as well as a recently-reviewed book by Russ Roberts — a spectacular treatise on understanding human nature wrote:

“Honesty is not a self-denying virtue. It’s one of the greatest assets a salesperson can have.”

There are two parts to this, as well. First, you are honest not for the sake of others (though, that is also very important) but because it is congruent with your personal value system. This allows you to be happy. And, in the end, happiness is what we as human beings ultimately desire.

The additional benefit to being an honest salesperson is the degree of trust you earn from your prospective and current customers and clients. This results in their gladly buying from you and just as enthusiastically referring you to others.

Yes, living with integrity and honesty certainly makes you more valuable to those whose lives you touch and influence. It affects you, however, on a much deeper level.

Because, when it comes right down to it…

It allows you to genuinely feel good about yourself and live with a sense of joy, peace of mind, and happiness.

Your thoughts?

Don’t Let Yourself Be “Chris Matthews-ed”

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Chris MatthewsA large part of influence is believability. Believability inspires trust. If you are believable once, you’ll get a shot at being believable again. If you are not believable just once, however (especially if it’s someone’s first exposure to you), the chances are excellent that you will not be considered such from that point on.

I recently witnessed a person make a somewhat dogmatic statement during a discussion. When asked to cite his source he began to hem and haw. When further pressed he grumbled something or other and got mad at the person who questioned him. Whether his statement was right or wrong, his lack of even basic source knowledge made him…unbelievable. In this case, “UN-believable” was not a good thing. 🙂

The incident immediately brought to mind an interview conducted in May, 2008 by MSNBC TV Hardball host, Chris Matthews. In this segment, one of his guests was Los Angeles-based Radio Talk Show Host, Kevin James. As James began to bring up British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain’s well-known appeasement of Hitler during the lead-up to World War II, Matthews asked him to explain what he meant. In other words, how exactly did Chamberlain appease Hitler?

Beginning at 4:10 of the video and all the way through the 7:05 mark, James danced around the issue. Matthews, of course, refused to let him off the hook. Finally, it was determined that James wasn’t able to cite anything specific, most notably the infamous Munich Agreement.

Now, does that mean that Mr. James was wrong? Not at all. Chamberlain certainly did appease Hitler. And, if you listen to that part of the interview, James wasn’t incorrect in anything he said.

However, the fact that he couldn’t cite an example of this appeasement — one of the most famous in history — simply took away any type of credibility he might have had with Mr. Matthews’ audience.

Personally, being a Libertarian and believing in both free minds and free markets, I certainly don’t agree with most of the political ideas Mr. Matthews advocates. Nor do I enjoy his communication style. He’s an interrupter who at times can even be insulting.  But, you know what else Mr. Matthews is? He’s very intelligent; he’s very sharp. And, he’s not about to let someone get away with “not backing up their statements.”

I learned a hugely important lesson from that interview: to never place myself in a position where I can be “Chris Matthews-ed.”

In other words, if we’re going to make a statement of fact or attempt to persuasively advance our idea, we need to not only know what we’re talking about, we need to be able to communicate that we know what we’re talking about. Especially, if pressed to do so.

Of course, I believe we should do this with tact, kindness and respect for the other person, even if we do not agree. Part of being able to do that effectively is knowing — really knowing — from whence we speak.

Your thoughts?



Very soon we’ll be re-opening our Certified Go-Giver Speaker Program to 12 more speakers. We limit it to 12 so that each new Speaker can receive the attention and teaching they need and deserve and be ready to hit the ground running in their business. Want to be alerted when we re-open? Visit www.GoGiverSpeaker.com.

The Missing Piece to the Influence Puzzle

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Trust is the missing piece – Bob BurgIf influence is the ability to move a person(s) to a desired and appropriate action, then what is its lynchpin?

What is that one…thing that, without it, you convince but cannot persuade and, with it, you can rally a single person or huge group to commit themselves to a cause?

What is that one…thing that will make the difference between “that’s a good idea; I’ll really have to consider thinking about perhaps some day maybe doing that” and, “yeah, baby, I’m on board; let’s do this thing!”?

I strongly believe that:

“When it comes to influence, TRUST is often the missing piece.”

I often say that, “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.”

We can also add the phrase, “and allow themselves to be influenced by.”

Yes, it might be a seller attempting to influence a prospect that they have the right solution to their problem. Perhaps it’s an employer wanting to influence her employees that the company is worth standing behind.

Maybe it’s the non-profit’s executive director attempting to influence his community that the charity he represents is the proper steward for their donations. Or, it could be a corporate CEO trying to influence the public to see her company as the leader in their field.

If the trust isn’t there, it most likely isn’t going to happen.

The dictionary defines trust as: “The character, ability, strength or truth of someone or something.”

In his terrific book, The Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey says trust is based on both character and competence (when anything of significance is involved, one of them without the other just isn’t going to cut it).

That person trying to influence you; do you trust him or her?

That person who you are trying to influence; does he or she trust you?

If not, why not? What can they do to elicit your trust? What can you do to elicit their trust?

What examples have you seen where everything seemed just perfect…but the “trust piece” was missing? Was it able to be fixed? If so, how?


Have you picked up your copy of my new book, Adversaries into Allies yet?

If not, visit www.AdversariesintoAllies.com and get Chapter One.

If you have purchased the book, be sure and let us know so you can obtain immediate access to the five brief videos — covering the Five Key Principles of Ultimate Influence — that are my thank you gift to you.

Fill in The Blank. Influence Without Trust. As Futile As…

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Recently, on my Facebook page I posted the following:

Trying to influence another person without first eliciting trust is as futile as…as…darn, hate when I can’t come up with a clever ending. 🙂
So, how would YOU end that sentence?

Responses ranged from funny to profound; many of them both. Here they are…

Dave Ferguson assuming your a leader just because your in a management position?

Tom Cooper cleaning the house when you have small children!

Brant Elsberry trying to cook a great meal without buying groceries.

Beth Bridges ‎… as resisting the Borg?

Tom Cooper Taking on an aircraft carrier while armed only with a squirt gun?

Erika Anderson herding cats.

Deb Krier Trying to push a rope uphill!

Tom Childrey as trying to teach a pig to sing, which wastes your time and truly annoys the pig.

Beth Bridges ‎… making a permanently selfish person become a good networker. (Hmm, that’s still under construction but you get the gist?)

Jon White trying to develop sales or recruits on social media pages or chat rooms by spamming.

Tom Cooper trying to write software without a computer!

Tom Cooper trying to drive without gas….

Chandler Peterson trying to get a teen to clean their room…

Paul Franklin Your appendix.

Michelle Larson Stimpson ‎…trying to listen to “Miracles” without singing along. 😉

Susan Castle Trying to get a five year old to try broccoli!

Robert Michele Gorden ‎… as putting lipstick on a pig! (You still have a pig)

Paul Franklin Spamming.

Kyle Wilson putting business cards on car windshields to sell a seminar.

Kim White As my dear friend Judy used to say, like trying to heat water in chocolate teapot.

Sandra Fry Trying to plow a field with just a plow and no tractor.

Doug N Joyce Morgan ‎…trying to tell a two-year old what to do.

Dennis Talluto pushing rope up a hill!

Michelle Goddard trying to skate on a lake before it freezes?

Max Fleischer fishing while sounding a horn.

Steve Eanes believing you will have a successful storybook marriage after winning the Bachelor or Bachelorette reality show.

Richard Wilson herding cats.

Karen Thornton trying to nail jello to a tree.

Sue Henry expecting the wheat to grow where it hasn’t been planted.

Volney F. Morin Jr like trying to shoot a free throw without the basketball.

Elaine Kibler is a futile as harvesting a crop when you planted no seed!

Will Nicholas asking the woman of your dreams to marry you without first demonstrating your exclusive love for her.

Patrick Mahan trying to shoot pool with a rope.

Patrick Mahan ‎ trying to stuff a marshmallow in a parking meter.

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome! These are so cool. Thank you everyone!

How about you? Anything you’d like to add? Please feel free!