DMA: Difference-Making Actions | Clarity

Clarity is having vision and purpose, communicating expectations and giving focus to daily actionable tasks. Difference-Making Actions is a method for having and keeping daily clarity. 

DMA Strategy:

  1. First thing every morning, take a sticky note.
  2. At the top write your most important current goal.
  3. Then write the numbers 1-5 down the page.
  4. Next to the 1, write the most important thing you could do today to accomplish that goal. Then write the next most important things under 2, 3, 4 and 5.
  5. You now have a list of the 5 most important things you could do today that would make the biggest difference in accomplishing your goal and fulfilling your organization’s mission. 

Focused: DMA’s are the most important actions for the day–you shouldn’t have more than five.

Clear and Quantifiable: The focus here is on activites, not outcomes, so know exactly what you are going to do. 

Realistic: Your DMAs will not be effective if you can’t actually do them. 


DMAs, Clarity, The Trust Edge, David Horsager, Building Trust

Zooming: How Effective Leaders Adjust Focus | Clarity

Harvard Business School Professor, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, talks on having a clear vision, the importance of zooming in and zooming out, and what should be the top priorities of a leader.



Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business School, Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Clarity, Vision, The Trust Edge

NCAA Athletes with a Trust Edge | Eight Pillar People

Lance Armstrong, Manti Te’o, Tiger Woods. These athletes and athletes like them have been the talk of the news and will always be the talk of the news. People are intrigued by scandals. Athletes who are trustworthy, hard-working and respectable are rarely brought to light.

Nick Amuchastegui, Miles Batty, Ashley Brignac, Micah Davis, Robert Griffin III, Stacey Hagensen, Lindsay Lettow, Brooke Pancake, Liz Phillips and Wendy Trott. The only athlete that you may have heard of out of this bunch is 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III, also known as the Washington Redskins’RGIII. These ten athletes hold records in their sport, at their schools and in the NCAA record book. However, that is not what makes these athletes so unique. Their ability to play not just the role of athlete, but of a student first (an excellent one at that), as well as being involved in their community contributes to their uniqueness and the reason why they were named the NCAA Top Ten Athletes of 2013.

With GPA’s of 3.5’s and above, as well as multiple non-profit volunteer initiatives, these athletes know what it takes to be a trusted individual. They didn’t take the short cut to become excellent. They worked hard, and took the more difficult course over the easy course. They extend their hand just enough so that they knew what they could balance as a student-athlete-philanthropist.

The Eight Pillars of Trust are what these athletes are all about. Having a clear vision is what kept their eye on the prize and helped them succeed at what they do best. Each volunteered in different non-profits, such as The Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, The American Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Club, showing compassion, and being an example of servant leadership. They clearly exhibited character in their excellence. All of them showed their commitment to their sport, the communities they were involved in and schooling. Throughout all of these activities they remained fresh, relevant, and capable. They extended their networks by connecting with others outside of their comfort zone and contributed to their teammates, their communities and the world of sports.

Ultimately, the reason all of these athletes obtained such an honorable award was because of their consistency. They delivered the same moral product every time, and were consistent in their actions, which is stronger than superfluous promising words.

Unfortunately, these athletes will go unnoticed in mainstream media, and the scandals of athletes like Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods will always take precedence. One thing can be sure; these athletes will impact so many people throughout their lifetime, because they have proven that having the Eight Pillars of Trust will give you an edge, an edge that will mold an excellent and a trusted individual.

To read more on these trusted athletes, check out the full NCAA Top 10 for 2013 Article: Top 10 in 2013


Top row: Tony Dungy, Keith Jackson, Chad Hennings, Yolanda ‘Gail’ Devers, Bob Cottingham, Dylann Duncan Ceriani, Kirk Rohle, and David Borden 

Bottom row: Wendy Trott, Liz Phillips, Brooke Pancake, Lindsay Lettow, Stacey Hagensen, Micah Davis, Ashley Brignac, Miles Batty, and Nick Amuchastegui (Robert Griffin III was also an awardee but could not attend)



Nick Amuchastegui, Miles Batty, Ashley Brignac, Micah Davis, Robert Griffin III, Stacey Hagensen, Lindsay Lettow, Brooke Pancake, Liz Phillips, Wendy Trott, NCAA , Top 10 NCAA Athletes of 2013, RGIII, Trust in Sports, Building Trust, Eight Pillars of Trust, The Trust Edge 

Pat Summitt: 38 Years of Success | Trust in Sports

After 38 years, the Tennessee Lady Volunteers Basketball players, coaches and community had to say goodbye to the most competent and successful basketball coach, not only in women’s basketball but in NCAA history. Under Pat Summitt’s leadership, the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball program was the most elite the nation has ever seen. Young girls from fourth grade on up would attend Summitt’s basketball camps every summer in hopes of learning how to be the best. Any girl who has ever had a passion for the game of basketball has dreams of being a part of that 11 woman roster and the privilege of wearing the orange and baby blue jerseys.

Pat Summitt made an appearance at 31 NCAA Tournaments, 22 teams made it to the Final Four and eight won NCAA Championship titles. At the end of her career Summitt claimed the title of the Most Winningest Coach in NCAA history, above John Wooden and Mike Krzyzewski, with a record of 1098-208 (.841).

What makes Pat Summitt so great? Trust. Summitt’s life and career exude the Eight Pillars of Trust.

Clarity: Summitt had a clear vision and purpose. She “instilled a pattern of success in her players and constantly challenged them to reach their potential as a student and athlete.” Her program reinforces that a clear vision unifies and motivates.

Compassion: Ask any of Pat’s current and former players and each one will tell you that Summitt was the hardest coach but the most loving. “Her players speak of the opportunities afforded to them later in life with a degree in life lessons from Summitt…” Summitt was trusted because she was a selfless and sacrificial leader who thought beyond her own interests.

Character:  Integrity is being the same in thoughts, words, and actions. Pat Summitt never boasted, although proud of her players she was respected for her humility. Her principles and values she carried with her at home, in practice and in games. Her accountability came from a staff that respected her principles and they supported her in them.

Competency: Pat was raised with the principles of hard work, and as a young girl after she finished her farm chores she would end up playing basketball in a hayloft.  “ She was strong … had great instincts … was awesome on defense … took a charge like a greedy housewife … denied the ball all over the court … rebounded with authority … took the ball to the hoop … and then could knock the lights out over a zone defense.” These characteristics led her to playing on the Olympic Women’s basketball team, a four year career in the WNBA and landing a job as the UT Volunteers Women’s basketball coach at the age of 22.

Commitment: Pat is the ultimate picture of commitment. She played basketball for the University of Tennessee for her college career and coached there for 38 years. Summitt’s passion for the game was the reason for such great commitment to the team.

Connection: Pat was one of the best coaches in the NCAA not only because of her knowledge of the game of basketball. She knew that building a great team could only happen through connecting with her players and staff. She cared beyond herself, asked great questions, listened, collaborated, was genuine, was grateful, and made a rule to never complain.

Contribution: Pat was the pioneer of NCAA women’s basketball.  She contributed her life to the game of basketball.  She was known to deliver results, and not just in basketball. At the end of her coaching career she held a record of 1098-208, but one of her greater successes was that her program had a 100% graduation rate. She produced great athletes as well as great minds and leaders to society.

Consistency: Even after the retirement of Pat Summitt, because of the consistency displayed by the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers basketball team, the program  still has a reputation to be the ideal place to play college basketball.

There are many good coaches and good sports programs. To be considered a great coach, which is trusted by the entire sports world, requires the characteristics of the Eight Pillars of Trust. Pat Summitt exudes trust in leadership. Even now as she begins to battle Alzheimer’s, the sports world trusts that Pat will still work hard, fight hard and never compromise.



Trust in Leadership, Trust in Sports, Building Trust, commitment, consistency, connection, contribution, character, Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee, Lady Vols Basketball, Pat Summitt Alzheimer’s

Want to Help Someone? Shut Up and Listen | Compassion

Ernesto Sirolli, Founder of the Sirolli Institute, shares with students why it is more important to listen than to give out one’s own ideas. People do not need to be patronized. Learn how to respond to people and become a servant to those you work with.

The Trust Edge gives tips for effective listening. Keep eye contact. Listen with your body. Practice patience. Empathize. Be present. Avoid answering the electornic interrupter. Hold one conversation at a time. Ernesto expands more on these effective listening tips in this video. 


Ernesto Sirolli, Sirolli Institute, Effectiveness, Effective listening, The Trust Edge, Patience

Television: Decreasing Level of Competency | The Trust Edge



Why is there a lack of trust in businesses, organizations and relationships? There is a lack of competency. To be successful there should be an increased level of learning and expanding of the brain. How do you do this? Read. Read everything. Americans today spend more time watching television than they do reading a book. Next time you go to pick up the remote, take a second and think about a book that may help improve your level of competency. 


competency, fresh and competent, Building Trust, self leadership, Trust in Leadership

A Sure Way for Undecided Voters to Decide | Trust in Government

Votes will be cast next week, and one of the world’s most influential people will take office on January 20th. Who will decide? The undecided voters will tip the balance left or right. If you are one of them, what metrics will you use? Trust expert, author and researcher David Horsager has a solution. Put on the lens of trust to help you pick what you see as the more trusted side of the fence to land on. 

“Trust has the ability to accelerate or destroy any business, relationship, or COUNTRY,” says David Horsager, author of #2 Wall Street Journal Best Selling Book The Trust Edge. “The election is completely determined by trust.”

But, what does it mean to be trusted? Horsager outlines 8 pillars of trustworthiness that he has uncovered through research and consulting. The eight pillars are clarity, compassion, character, competency, commitment, connection, contribution and consistency. There are 8 questions to ask when deciding who you believe is the best candidate for the job.

Mitt Romney or Barack Obama

1. Who has a clearer vision?

2. Who has higher character?

3. Who is more capable to lead the country?

4. Who is more likely to get results?

5. Who is more committed to upholding the Constitution?

6. Who is more compassionate?

7. Who is more willing to collaborate with others?

8. Who is a more consistent leader?


Whoever you chose the most is the leader you trust the most.

With the 8 pillars of trust in mind, which candidate seems to be more trusted? Last week, Horsager and his team polled people across America and found a fairly even distribution except for 2 questions. 60% of those polled believe Barack Obama is more compassionate and 60% believe Mitt Romney is more committed to upholding the Constitution. Who do YOU trust more?

The single uniqueness of the greatest leaders and organizations is trust. According to David Horsager, “Trust requires time, effort, diligence, and character. Inspiring trust is not slick or easy to fake.” Our country needs a leader who can be trusted. As defined by Horsager, trust is a confident belief in someone or something to do what is right, deliver what is promised, and to be the same every time, in spite of circumstances.

 Who do you trust to lead America?

The Blame Game: A Lack of Competence | Trust in Government

The election is all about trust. Outside of the electorate, the only reason anyone gets voted into office is because they are the most trusted to do the job that is required of them.

A recent poll found that the U.S. Congress has the lowest trust rate since Gallup Poll began polling, 38 years ago. Here are a few reasons. First, the American people want solutions not blaming. Last year in the midst of the economic downgrade, the term “Tea Party Downgrade” was coined by President Barack Obama. On the opposing side the GOP leaders called the economy an “Obama Downgrade”.

Second, there is a gap in competency. The majority of legislators have laws degrees, but too few are fiscally competent, and yet they are called upon to organize one of the biggest budgets in the world. The House of Representatives members currently hold 167 law degreesand only 22 MBAs. The Senate members hold 55 law degrees. Members of Congress may have the right heart but a trust problem develops when there is not proper education to have the ability to clearly see the future impact of financial decisions.

Third, legislators used to spend time after hours on the floor over a dinner or a drink, today every extra ounce of time often goes to raising funds for the next election. There becomes a lack of contribution to the work that they were elected to. Without connection time outside of work, civility and trust go down. The most precious resource for any individual, organization, or government is trust. If you would like the greatest efficiency, earn trust. A lack of trust really is your biggest expense.


2012 Election, Building Trust, Trust in Congress, Trust in Leadership, Trust in Government, Competency, Democracy and Trust, Fresh and Competent, Trust in Democracy, Trust in Media, Trust in Politics 

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