Opportunity International | Trusted Company of the Month

It can be safely assumed that loaning money to complete strangers involves a significant risk. After all, how do you know if they would pay it back? So lending money in the developing world, across language and cultural barriers, to the working poor, would be much too risky, right? Wrong. This is the business model behind Opportunity International, one of the first nonprofit organizations to recognize the benefits of providing small business loans as capital to those working their way out of poverty. A resounding success, Opportunity is a shining example of what happens when trust is extended.

Opportunity International has empowered the poor in Third World nations to lift themselves out of poverty. By thoughtfully extending trust to groups of women entrepreneurs who are dedicated to the welfare of their families, Opportunity has positively impacted individuals, families, and communities across the globe.   

To learn more about Opportunity International, watch the video below or click on the logo to link to their website.

David Horsager, Trust, Trusted Company of the month, Business Abroad, Economic Development, International Business, Micro Finance, Opportunity International, Positive Impact, Trusted Company

“Delhi Belly” | The Trust Edge

Input always leads to output.  What you put in comes out in some way whether it is effort, thoughts, or impure water.  The last few days of my India trip were not fun as I ate or drank the wrong thing—and the output was ugly. Basic Psychology says that our thoughts become our desires, which become our actions.  An ancient Proverbs says, “As a man thinks so is he.” That is why what we think about is so important. To a large degree we become our thoughts. Fill your mind with great ideas, thoughts, news, podcasts, and books.

Consider one new input you will put into your mind over the next months that can change outcomes.

Basic Psychology, David Horsager, Trust, Trust in Business, Trust in Leadership, India, Delhi

FedEx | Trusted Company of the Month

FedEx began in 1973 with the simple guarantee of overnight delivery anywhere in the United States. Because of their strong track record over the years, we have come to trust FedEx. When we send something, we can believe in their consistency. Other companies promise the same thing, and some with a lower fee, but people are willing to pay for FedEx, the company that has earned their trust. Under the banner of consistency, FedEx has grown into a global empire, spanning more than 220 countries and handling more than three million packages every day.

“This is a guarantee. If we don’t get there-we don’t get paid.”

-Fred Smith, founder of FedEx

Dave, David, FedEx, Federal Express, Horsager, Overnight delivery, Trust, Trust in Business, Trust in Leadership, trusted business

How Do You Feel When People Deliver? | The Trust Edge

How do you feel when people deliver? When you get what you want or even BETTER? You feel GREAT! Fabulous! Super! We worked with Sheepish Design on our new website (sheepishdesign.org) and they put in more hours than they ever expected to deliver an exceptional tool and trusted social media plan. They stayed on budget and delivered on their promises of quality. Because it has been uncommon to get this kind of service in the online marketing industry we are even more thrilled.  What will we do?

  1. Tell others
  2. Come back
  3. Pay more….next time.

On the other hand we just worked with a firm on another project that did not deliver what they promised.  What would most do?

  1. Tell others
  2. Never come back.

To be trusted…Deliver beyond expectations.

Customer service, Dave, David, Horsager, Trust, Trust in Business, Trust in Leadership, deliver

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Better Business Bureau | Trusted Company of the Month

Even though the BBB is not a company, it is an entity that is devoted to exemplifying trust in businesses. The BBB’s mission is to, “be the leader in advancing marketplace trust.” BBB accomplishes this mission by:

  • Creating a community of trustworthy businesses
  • Setting standards for marketplace trust
  • Encouraging and supporting best practices
  • Celebrating marketplace role models, and;

Denouncing substandard marketplace behavior

Businesses that meet the high standards of integrity and performance are invited to join BBB thus agreeing to live up to our Standards for Trust

Dave, David, Horsager, Trust, Trusted Company of the Month, BBB, Better Business Bureau, Community of Trust, Marketplace, Role Models, Supporting Best Practices, Trusted Company

ServiceMaster Clean | Trusted Company of the Month

ServiceMaster is one of the world’s largest service networks. It has locations in the U.S. and Canada as well as 40 countries around the world. Under the umbrella of ServiceMaster falls ServiceMaster Clean with over 4,500 franchises around the world. To show their commitment to service and excellence, ServiceMaster Clean is proud to be a Six Sigma Company. The ServiceMaster pledge says, “In everything we do, we pledge honesty, dependability and a job well done.” The company was founded in 1929 originally as a moth-proofing company. Though there have been many changes over the years, their core beliefs and objectives have remained the same. That is why this month’s Trusted Company is ServiceMaster Clean.


David Horsager, Service, Servicemaster, Trust, Trusted Company of the Month, Commitment, Dependability, Excellence, Jonesty, Integrity, Servicemaster Clean

American Girl | Trusted Company of the Month

When you ask moms and daughters about their favorite dolls, American Girls will most likely be at the top of the list. The American Girl Doll Company has done more than introducing stories with dolls to accompany them. They have successfully created a culture in which owners can travel back in time to experience different eras through the stories of the characters. In addition to dolls, the company offers, accessories, board games, clothes for girls, as well as the store experience. Dave and his wife even decided to get an American Girl doll for their seven year old daughter this Christmas. In light of the holiday season, this month’s Trusted Company is American Girl.


David Horsager, Trust, Trust in Business, Trust in Leadership, Trusted Company of the month, American Girl, Commitment, Culture, Follow Your Inner Star, Trusted Company

Trust is a bottom-line decision | The Trust Edge

Some of the following thoughts are excerpts from my Master’s Degree research.

Trust is essential to personal and organizational success. Trust affects an organization’s effectiveness and its bottom line. Without trust leaders and organizations lose in every way. They lose productivity, employee retention, morale, effectiveness, efficiency, customer loyalty, morale, reputation, and revenue.

As an entrepreneur, speaker, and consultant I have often seen organizations put their focus on the trivial over the fundamental. Companies say they believe in high integrity, but they would rather pay for sales skills training than invest in nurturing integrity and high character. The truth is if one does not exhibit trust and integrity as a leader one will not have productive teams. If one does not create trust in sales, one is unlikely to sell. If one does not build trust in service, one will not create loyal customers. I believe trust is a bottom-line decision. But how does an individual or organization build trust?

The reality is trust is fundamentally important for success and effectiveness among people and organizations. Karlene Kerfoot concurs, “In the end it’s not techniques that count. The leader’s ability to engender trust is what really matters. Without trust, people cannot listen and hear (Kerfoot, 2001, p.42).” When trust is high then productivity, collaboration, openness, morale, initiative, creativity and effectiveness all go up—and so does the bottom line. The profound impact of trust is obvious, but there is a problem.

The Problem
Because the ability to build and sustain trust is so important for people and organizations to be successful and effective, inability to build trust or the presence of low-trust in a person or organization presents a problem that needs to be addressed. There has been a significant loss of trust among companies and people in recent years. According to Jane Gibson, “The European public simply doesn’t trust CEO’s (Gibson, 2007, p.13).” In fact, according to Gibson’s research, only twenty percent of Europeans trust the heads of companies (2007).

The body of research that was studied for my Master’s Paper revealed several significant and foundational aspects of trust. The evidence pointed to some key areas that are most important for trust to be built and sustained in a person or organization. Many of these aspects of trust came up in multiple juried articles, reviews or books. I found six most common and foundational keys for trust building. A person, leader, or organization that was trustworthy contained the following six attributes: capable and competent, conscientious and committed, congruent and of high character, collaborative and connection (ability to have), compassionate and caring, and clear and candid.

A formula may make the findings more clear and usable. It should be understood that the formula came to me as a way to simplify and better understand this incredibly complex subject of trust. It is not meant to over simplify or give the idea that all of the important aspects of trust can be nicely placed in a succinct formula. Still if it helps understand and remember the findings it is worth it.

The following formula helps illustrate the findings:
+ Being Capable and Competent
+ Being Conscientious and Committed
+ Being Congruent and of High Character
+ Be Collaborative and able to Connect
+ Being Compassionate and Caring
+ Being ¬Clear and Candid
_______________________________= CONFIDENCE or HIGH TRUST
(in that organization or individual)

My research has provided clear evidence that building trust among teams and clients is essential for great and effective leadership. Bryant College researcher, Ronald J. Deluga found, “Interpersonal trust is crucial to supervisor and organizational effectiveness (1995).” Without trust people do not work together effectively. Without trust productivity decreases. In order to build trust, an environment must be created where there is open communication, genuine respect, low amounts of fear, and high regard for participation. Effective team leaders must demonstrate honesty, high integrity, and competence as well as a willingness to support his or her team. These traits will help build trust and in turn effective leadership.
Is trust important? Absolutely. Trust affects the relationships, effectiveness, and the bottom-line, so it is clearly worth building relationships and organizations with a high degree of trust. Though worth it, it may take considerable effort to build trust.. McDargh (2006) confirms that trust builds over time. According to Farber (2007), “Building trust does not happen overnight. It’s the many little things you do over time that help you build lasting relationships (p.85).”

Trust is a key element to genuine effectiveness and success. Greer (2002) States, “Trust allows the superstar in all of us to emerge (p.8).” This research gives hope that one can be a superstar if one becomes competent in the six fundamentals of trust found in this study. Further, trusting God, His Word, and becoming trustworthy are elements of trust that, by God’s grace, allow Him to shine through the Christian leader. Now one can look at a few more applications inspired by this research.

Several things are important for one to apply research from this analysis. The first step is seeing the need to build trust as a leader and as an organization. Understanding the impact of trust on effectiveness and on the bottom line can be a motivator for becoming a high trust individual or organization. The findings in this study have proved the importance of trust for the effective leader or organization.

Next, one must take a good look at one’s trustworthiness. Getting feedback and taking some time to reflect are both important parts of applying the findings of this research. One way to get valuable feedback around one’s trustworthiness is to take a good assessment. If a person would like to use a simple but valuable tool to test a person’s level of trust that person can take my TRUST TEMPERATURE assessment by going to www.ideahorse.com. Just taking the time to honestly evaluate areas where one lacks trustworthiness can be eye opening and helpful for growth. To gain the most insight one can use the Trust Temperature Assessment as a short 360-degree feedback by giving the assessment to people one works with as well as superiors, clients and direct reports. Without feedback one may not see areas that need attention.

Another application for increasing trust is a vibrant faith. I do not know of a better way to build character than having a faith beyond one’s self. If one does not believe in some sort of absolute truth it is difficult to have a basis for any moral code.

One way a person may be able to stay the coarse, as far as one’s character is concerned is by developing an accountability group. Accountability helps one keep integrity and continue to grow. A Proverb states, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” For the last fourteen years I have met with the same accountability guys. We share deeply and we love one another. We really want the best for each other. I meet with one of the guys every week and with the others periodically. Once a year get together at a cabin for a longer (4-5 day) get-away where we listen, share goals, challenge, encourage, seek wisdom, pray, and encourage one another. Because of this accountability group businesses and ministries have been started, marriages and families have been strengthened.

Another way to apply this information is to keep learning about trust. Consider what areas may
need to be strengthened. Then, seek to be trained in or develop those areas. Though some of the areas of trust are difficult to teach such as character. Some of the fundamentals can be developed in an organization or person more easily. Take time to grow and develop in the fundamentals of trustworthiness. If one is leading an organization, make sure to develop a climate that encourages the key elements of trustworthiness.
It takes being intentional to apply knowledge learned from this research. Start by doing little things to increase trust.

Bottom-Line, Customer Loyalty, David Horsager, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Employee Retention, Integrity, Morale, Organizational Success, Reputation, Revenue, Trust and Money

Great Speakers, Great Leaders | Trust in Leadership

I was talking to one of the great event planners in our industry. Kris Young hires only the best keynote speakers for the biggest and best corporate productions. I asked her, “Who do you like to work with the most?” She mentioned a few names. I said, “Why do you like them?” She gave a few great reasons that follow:

  1. Humility. The great speakers are humble, open, willing and teachable. They listen to the needs of the client. They help brainstorm how they can best be used and even offer ideas of other speakers who may be a better fit. Kris said, “It’s not about them it is about the client.” Arrogance, pride, and big egos don’t work over the long term for speakers or for leaders.
  2. They deliver. They do what they say they will do. It is the same in every business isn’t it? Those that deliver beyond expectations get plenty of business.
  3. They are easy to work with.

Whether you are a speaker, a leader or both these truths are worth being reminded of. Humility is the beginning of learning and of being likeable. Who wants to be around a know-it-all? And yet one may be likable, but without valuable results business declines. If one is hard to deal with trust goes down while time and costs go up.

It is true that you have great responsibilities as a leader, but it is not all about you. Be humble, reliable and easy to work with and watch your relationships and business grow.

Dave, David, Horsager, Trust, Trust in Business, Trust in Leadership, deliver, great leaders, great speakers, humility, responsibility

Share It! | The Trust Edge

If vision is not shared consistently your team will lose it. Experts say if vision is not shared at least every 30 days your team will not know it and will lose inspiration. If vision really does motivate, unify, and encourage people to step up, it must be a central part of how a leader leads on a daily basis.

It is interesting how people “step up to the plate” when given a little vision. When one of my daughters was only two and a half years old we let her help set the china on the dining room table and we have all wood floors! You might think we were crazy but you should have seen her. She stepped up so proudly and carefully carrying and placing every place setting. Now, you have to be alright with a drop. But the truth is she has never dropped a single plate or glass. Why? Part of it might be that we shared some vision and gave her a little responsibility. My son does not carry this success story, but isn’t a broken plate or even a few worth the opportunity to learn responsibility and grasp a vision. To see people step up is a leader’s motivation.

I can remember growing up on the farm and my dad lived out his advice of “always give a child as much responsibility as he or she can handle.” Of course, learning how much one can handle ensures mistakes will be made. I can remember spreading fertilizer when I was about ten years old and running the tractor into our car. Another time I drove too close to the ditch with the dump truck containing a thousand gallons of water and chemical and tipping it. I was twelve years old at the time. Did Dad get angry, never. I knew he believed the best of me. I knew I had made a big mistake. I wanted to do my best for a leader that would believe in me and give me great opportunities.

There are really two types of vision. Giving individual vision for how great a single person can be. And there is the bigger vision. The vision of the organization or team or family. Share both often. You will inspire, encourage, and unify.

How can you share more vision with your team, organization, or family? A few ideas follow:

  1. Simplify the vision of your organization so that people can remember it.
  2. Every chance you speak tie back to the vision.
  3. Get the vision in front of people whether on desks, the refrigerator, screen savers, framed pictures, t-shirts, mugs, above the urinals or stall doors, or weekly emails.


Teamwork, Agriculture, Ideas, Vision, Big Vision, Trust in Business, Trust in Leadership, 

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