The 8 Pillars of Trust

Trust: The Leading Indicator (The 8 Pillars of Trust)

According to our global study and The Trust OutlookTM, the number one question everyone is asking is “Can I trust you?”. A lack of trust is your biggest expense in business and life. Each of the 8 pillars of trust contribute to demonstrating why trust is the leading indicator.

Everything of value is built on trust. You’ll pay more for the trusted brand, follow the trusted leader, and buy from the trusted salesperson. Trust is the single uniqueness of the greatest leaders, organizations and brands of all time. Trust is the root cause. It amplifies marketing, speed of the sale, and is the only way to leverage the benefits of diversity.

Leading vs. Lagging Indicators

Leading indicators are typically input oriented, hard to measure but easy to influence. Lagging indicators are typically output oriented, easy to measure but hard to improve or influence. In many cases, the leading indicator is the cause of the lagging indicator.

An example of a leading indicator would be leadership competency. If the leading indicator is leadership competency- measured at the process level, the lagging indicator would be employee satisfaction, measured at the organization level.

Trust is the most important leading indicator as it is vital for driving toward any goal. Whether you are trying to increase your customer satisfaction rate or decrease attrition, trust affects the bottom line. From massive fraud in business to scandals in politics and athletics, the headlines point to a persistent problem of modern life and business—we’re lacking in trust.

So how do you build trust? Many professionals think it is as simple as increasing integrity or honesty. However, the solution much deeper and more complex than this. In order to build trust, you need to look at a much broader spectrum of ideas. The 8-Pillars of trust can assist in building the foundation for success.

The 8 Pillars of Trust- Defined

  • ClarityPeople trust the clear and mistrust or distrust the ambiguous. Be clear about your mission, purpose, expectations, and daily activities. When we are clear about priorities on a daily basis, we become productive and effective.
  • CompassionPeople put faith in those who care beyond themselves.  People are often skeptical about whether someone really has their best interests 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. Follow it, and you will build trust.
  • CharacterPeople notice those who do what is right ahead of what is easy. Leaders who have built this pillar consistently do what needs to be done when it needs to be done, whether they feel like doing it or not. It is the work of life to do what is right rather than what is easy.
  • CompetencyPeople have confidence in those who stay fresh, relevant, and capable. The humble and teachable person keeps learning new ways of doing things and stays current on ideas and trends. Make a habit of reading, learning, and listening to fresh information.
  • CommitmentPeople believe in those who stand through adversity. People trusted General Patton, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, Jesus, and George Washington because they saw commitment and sacrifice for the greater good. Commitment builds trust.
  • ConnectionPeople want to follow, buy from, and be around those who are willing to connect and collaborate. Trust is all about relationships, and relationships are best built by establishing genuine connection. Develop the trait of gratitude, and you will be a magnet.
  • ContributionFew things build trust quicker than actual results. At the end of the day, people need to see outcomes. You can have compassion and character, but without the results you promised, people won’t trust you. Be a contributor who delivers real results.
  • ConsistencyIt’s the little things—done consistently—that make the biggest difference. If I am overweight, it is because I have eaten too many calories over time, not because I ate too much yesterday. It is the same in business. The little things done consistently make for a higher level of trust and better results.

According to the Trust OutlookTM, the number one reason people want to work for an organization was trust. Ahead of being paid more, ahead of more autonomy, ahead of a more fun work environment, they want to trust their leadership. When the 8-pillars are used together, they make up the great advantage called The Trust Edge.

Trust is the most important leading indicator. When trust increases or decreases, the lagging indicator follows. If a leader is untrusted, both employee and customer satisfaction decrease. If a brand is trusted, revenue will increase, and employee retention will become greater. It affects all aspects of business. In both situations, trust is the first thing that changes.

What Are The 8 Pillars Of Trust? | David Horsager | The Trust Edge

Everything of value is built on trust, and a lack of trust is your biggest expense. So if trust is so important, how do you build it? In the original researc…

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Personal Mission Statement – How to Create Yours

What is a personal mission statement? A personal mission statement is something to continually strive for. Everything you do in life should come back to your mission and your personal mission statement. If this is not the case for you, maybe it’s time to change your mission.

A Personal Life Mission Statement:

    1. Gives focus.

    2. Keeps us accountable.

    3. Encourages us to do the best things rather than just the good things.

    4. Simplifies our lives.

    5. Increases productivity and morale.

Create a personal life mission statement based on your deepest convictions and beliefs. What are your objectives? What do you want to be known for?

For more self-development ideas, take a look at The Daily Edge

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12 Tips for Clear Communication

In the world today, clear communication is hard to maintain. People trust the clear and mistrust the ambiguous. Much of the time, communication is done via email, phone, or messaging. Clear communication is a hard skill to learn and it has become increasingly more difficult in the technological climate of today. Many of us struggle to finish a conversation without glancing at our phone, watching the TV in a restaurant or any number of other distractions available to us today.

Anyone familiar with the academic side of communication can tell you, it’s very difficult for any two people, much less groups, to accurately convey meaning to one another. Our minds are too filled with our own assumptions. For example, suppose I asked you to think of a person riding a horse. Some of you, by virtue of your background or imagination, might picture someone galloping through the mountains. Others of you might instinctively envision someone else, jumping gates in an arena. Your mind’s eye colors things differently than others based on your experiences. No two people ever perfectly communicate. However, the more clear our communication, the greater the ability to trust.

Now think about your life. Whether you are having a face-to-face conversation, talking on the phone, or responding to an email, it can be extremely difficult to set your ego aside and show the other person that you care about what they have to say. All the variables that go into clear communication need to be practiced. Even if you are a naturally good listener, it still is something that you need to continually work on to become a great listener. If you are great at asking questions, you may need work on simplifying or deciphering the answers to those questions.

12 Tips for Clear Communication

1. Listen

2. Empathize

3. Avoid manipulation. Don’t overstate or understate

4. Speak honestly and without exaggeration

5. Stay focused and avoid distractions

6. Ask questions

7. Glean information from the non-verbal communication

8. Keep an open mind and do not jump to conclusions

9. Do not criticize

10. Simplify the complicated

11. First seek to understand, then to be understood

12. Mean what you say

Clear communication is difficult for another reason. Some studies suggest that over 90% of the meaning we derive comes from non-verbal cues that one person gives to another. That means only 10% of communication is based on words we say! Clear communication is work.

“The vision is really about empowering workers, giving them all the information about what’s going on so they can do a lot more than they’ve done in the past.”

-Bill Gates


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Prioritize Your Goals to Be Most Effective

Prioritize to Be Most Effective

While Ben Franklin’s idea, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is agreeable, countless companies have wasted time and money on strategic plans that are collecting dust. People spend lots of time planning but very little time turning those plans into daily actionable tasks. To prioritize your goals is to put them at the front of your mind and actions. Some suggest that putting your goal in the mirror so you see it every day will make it come true. Your mission statement belongs on your mirror, and your goals and tasks associated with achieving your mission are meant for action.

Daily clarity leads to accomplishing the most important things every day. Difference Making Actions (DMAs) are the best way I have found to be clear on a daily basis. They will keep you from having a day where you feel like you are busy but getting nothing done. The following idea comes from Charles Schwab, the first American to be paid a million dollar salary.

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Being Clear With Expectations | Trust in Business

Few things are as frustrating as working for a manager who gives you an annual review and tells you all the things she thinks you should have been doing during the past year. How is this information helpful now? The year is over. Why weren’t these expectations expressed earlier? If you are a parent, you know how important it is to communicate expectations with your child. So often, a clear communication of expectations will prevent both misbehavior and failure. 

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Commitment to Quality and Trust | Trust in Business

Is your organization trusted for its commitment to quality? If there’s room for improvement, you might consider reading Philip Crosby’s 1979 classic Quality is Free. In this book, Crosby outlines how you can improve quality and how to build an environment where commitment in quality is essential.

Why Commitment to Quality Matters

  • Crosby sees quality not just as a set of procedures but a way of doing things – a management philosophy that starts with leadership.
  • Many organizations value quality, but they have little-to-no agreed upon measurement system.
  • Most know the cost of quality in their particular group, but not for their organization. Crosby’s research found that organization’s unaware of their quality costs had actual costs of 20% of sales.
  • He offers this 14-Step Quality Improvement Program, which he expands on in his book.

14-Step Quality Improvement Program

  1. Management Commitment
  2. Quality Improvement Team
  3. Quality Measurement
  4. Cost of Quality Evaluation
  5. Quality Awareness
  6. Corrective Action
  7. Establish an Ad Hoc Committee for the Zero Defects Program
  8. Supervisor Training
  9. Zero Defects Day
  10. Goal Setting
  11. Error Cause Removal
  12. Recognition – Awards Program
  13. Quality Councils
  14. Do It Over Again

Interaction with the 8 Pillars of Trust – Quality

  • Implementing a commitment to quality begins with the clarity pillar. Leaders must become clear on what they see as quality. Then, the leadership teams must agree on what commitment to quality means, how to measure it, and the plan to develop it. It also ends with clarity, as the entire organization becomes clear on a mindset for quality.
  • Quality is often perceived by users as a measure or indicator of an organizations character. If they consistently show high quality, we assume they have high integrity. If we see lapses or discrepancies through an organization’s services or function, they can be seen as having low character. And, if their standards for quality have negative impact on people, we question the other side of character – their morality.
  • Low quality or inconsistent quality steers employees and customers away in many circumstances, because of a perception of competence. Who wants to buy hire a lawyer that wins few cases?
  • Organizations that consistently deliver high quality are known for it. We see them as having a commitment to quality. Think of Ritz-Carlton. Their brand speaks of excellence of quality because it’s experienced throughout the world at their hotels. We know the people that work there have a mindset that’s committed to the maximum quality of your stay.
  • The more commitment to quality, the more growth through the quality stages, and the further on in the stages, the more money saved. Those who are committed to preventing errors in customer and product requirements save on money, time, and brain damage. You can imagine the mad scramble of fire fighters when wind spreads fire to another direction in a forest. This reactionary style which young and old companies have, can be prevented with a clear quality program. If your company lacks one, it could be something to consider.

Click Here to view David’s National Best Seller The Trust Edge

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The Importance of Corporate Vision | Trust in Leadership

I met an 88-year-old man named Orville at my health club, first noticing him one afternoon while checking in. I saw Orville sort of stumbling along behind me. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was no way this man, slowly shuffling along the path to the gym, was going to work out! Orville patiently moved, inch by inch, into the weight-training area, picked up some dumbbells, and with an audible grunt, started his routine. 

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Plan Ahead to Stay Ahead | Trust in Leadership

It’s hard to get a running start on the day without a plan. You don’t want to waste your creative morning time wondering what you should do today. If you want to attack your day instead of having it attack you, use this solid strategy. Take the last 15 minutes of a workday to plan out and prioritize the activities for the next day. This will set you up for success and also keep you from forgetting about important tasks or appointments.

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Conflict is Unavoidable | Trust in Relationships

Most conflict occurs because of a lack of clarity in communication, so I feel it is important to address here. Expect conflict. Learn to deal with it. Anytime there’s more than one person, you’re bound to find conflict. It’s only natural. We all have separate backgrounds, different tendencies, and unique perspectives. It’s no surprise we disagree from time to time. I am always amazed at the splits in friendships, churches, and businesses over a little conflict. Who do you agree with 100% of the time? Nobody. I don’t even agree with those I love the most, all of the time.

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Strategy for Innovative Agility | Trust Trends 2014 Series

Success, let alone survival, demands an ability to quickly respond to fast-changing markets and environments.

Financial squeezing, increased digital commerce, cutting-edge Big Data technology, increasing distrust in big institutions, and quickly changing markets has given way to innovative strategies for agility. Small organizations are more insightful, and larger organizations are more agile. In addition, new financial systems are being developed, entrepreneurs have an opportunistic outlook, SME’s are thriving, and agile systems of all types are being developed to replace outdated, bulky, and bureaucratic systems. 

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