People often ask me, “How do you build trust with yourself?” And, you know, it is really hard to build trust in your team, in your organization, in your family, or anywhere else if you don’t trust yourself at all. The only way is to make and keep a commitment.
You hear the idea, love your neighbor as yourself, well, if you don’t love yourself at all, it’s hard to love your neighbor. People sometimes ask me about the weight loss when I lost over 50 pounds in five months, and, I think, one of the many things I did to try to lose that weight was I made a commitment. It wasn’t a bet, just a commitment and the commitment was to my staff.
The commitment was, “If I’m not at my high school weight by May 1st, I’ll give you $2500.” My wife was not excited about this idea but I knew I had to make a commitment. Now, what’s the problem if I wouldn’t have kept that commitment? Well, I would’ve lost trust in myself. So, making and keeping little commitments that you will keep, that’s the step to start trusting yourself more.
When you trust yourself more, you start to build that muscle so that you can build trust in others, in your team, in your organization, build trust in your family, or anywhere else. But in order to built trust with others, you have to start to be able to trust yourself. So, picking some little thing that you can make as a commitment that you will keep will help you start to build more trust with yourself.
How should you build trust in adversity? Watch the video below to see David’s insight on the best way to build trust in adversity.
We learn when we trust people that stay committed even in the face of adversity. You think of anybody that’s left a great and lasting legacy in your life personally, or in history. Mandela, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Jesus or Joan of Arc, and you’ll find somebody who was committed to a cause beyond themselves and they were trusted because of that commitment.
When is your greatest opportunity to build trust the fastest? Right away’s a really great opportunity, it’s number two. When was George W. Bush the most trusted in America? The week after 9/11. Crisis. Things are going to heck?
You got a board meeting, people are throwing chairs, they’re mad, parents are shouting and screaming. You got an incredible opportunity to build trust fast. How you respond as a board right then is your great opportunity.
The only way to build a strong reputation is sameness, consistency, for good or bad. Like I said, late all the time, trust you to be late. Sameness matters. Some of you new come in cardinal. Others have come in recently. You’ve got to help us. You have to help us have the same feel. You’ve got to understand these three H values.
You need to understand our five push forward initiatives right now because we have got to have consistency because we all lose if we don’t have consistency in some way. In companies, we call it a brand, that’s consistency. In people, we call it a reputation. You have a weak reputation if you’re late sometimes and on-time sometimes.
You have a weak brand if I interface with this group over here, the app development group, and they were really great and then I interfaced with the channel group, supply and chain, whatever, and then they were this way. You’ve got to help us have consistency if we want to have strength and growth over the next decade. Consistency matters.
When you give commitment, you will receive it. It is a direct relationship. They work together. You must do the work to see results. Here is David speaking on this topic.
One time had a vice president of sales right before his meeting come up to me and say, “Dave, I’ve read your book “and I love the chapter on commitment. “I think that is so important for our company, “can you just tell my team to be committed to me?”
No, you have to be committed to them first, commitment breeds commitment. Sometimes people ask me, “How do you rebuild trust? “How do you rebuild it?” We’ve all made mistakes. Let me tell you what’s not, it’s not the apology.
If a president, a CEO from a company in the Netherlands came up to me, said, we were talking, we knew each other for, been over here about a month. I said, “What do you notice different in America?” He said, “You wanna know the truth David?” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “In America, you’ve got a bunch “of lying apologizers. “They all say they’re sorry and they don’t mean it. “‘I’m sorry I’m late.’ “No you’re not, you’re late every time. “‘Sorry I didn’t get that done.’ “No you never get that done.”
Doesn’t mean you don’t need to start with a sincere apology, but whether you’re a big business or an individual, the only way to rebuild trust is to make and keep a commitment, that starts with personal commitments.
Consistency. is why we trust McDonald’s. Even if we don’t like them. I’ve had the same exact burger on six continents. This pillar is why we cannot stand moody people, right?
What are you gonna be like today? Happy, sad, mad, stressing me out! I would rather have an angry curmudgeon every single day than a moody person. Wouldn’t you? I can manage that consistency. I can’t manage this. Sameness, in our office we say it’s the little things done consistently that make the biggest difference and that’s true of your store every single day. Little things done consistently.
If I’m overweight it’s ’cause I’ve had too many lattes over years, not ’cause I ate too much this morning for breakfast. If I’m a good husband it’s ’cause I’ve loved and honored my wife over years, not ’cause I gave her a diamond ring and dozen roses one time, not that that wouldn’t help.
If I’m a good leader I’m consistently sharing the vision, consistently appreciating my team, consistently building this store in the freshest possible way, because consistency is trusted. You’re trusted for whatever you do consistently. The only way to build a reputation is consistency, the only way to build a brand is consistency.
When I walk into that store and that greeter is great, and then I talk to the next person, they don’t know where anything is, and then I talk to the next one and it’s clean over here, and then the magazine is terrible, and then there’s, if you have up and down you have no brand. Consistency is trusted. They wanna have the same experience every single time.
Give Commitment Get Commitment
Speaking on commitment. But I one time had a vice president of sales right before his meeting come up to me and say, “Dave, I’ve read your book “and I love the chapter on commitment. “I think that is so important for our company, “can you just tell my team to be committed to me?” No, you gotta be committed to them first, commitment breeds commitment. Sometimes people ask me, “How do you rebuild trust? “How do you rebuild it?”
We’ve all made mistakes. Let me tell you what’s not, it’s not the apology. And if a president, a CEO from a company in the Netherlands came up to me, said, we were talking, we knew each other for, been over here about a month. I said, “What do you notice different in America?” He said, “You wanna know the truth David?” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “In America, you’ve got a bunch “of lying apologizers. “They all say they’re sorry and they don’t mean it. “‘I’m sorry I’m late.’ “No you’re not, you’re late every time. “‘Sorry I didn’t get that done.’ “No you never get that done.” Doesn’t mean you don’t need to start with a sincere apology, but whether you’re a big business or an individual, the only way to rebuild trust is to make and keep a commitment, that starts with personal commitments.
I started asking people, anybody that travels around the world like I do and sits on planes and goes to banquets, the nice ones you had last night, and I say, “How do you stay so fit on the road?” I mean, I would ask everybody. Not creepy, “How do you stay fit?” But you know, so… So I said, “How do you stay fit? “How do you do this?” Everybody around the world said the same thing.
Four words. “Eat less, exercise”. MORE. That wasn’t clear enough for me. How, but how, how, how. So I asked how on people ’til I came up with about seven ideas I could apply today or tomorrow. I’m gonna give ya one idea and not because you should do it, you shouldn’t probably.
But, it shows how clear you need to be to change anything. This doctor, 80 years old, fit as could be, his wife next to him glowing and fit as could be, came up to the stage one event, and by the way I wanna learn from people look like the way I wanna look, said David, “I don’t know if you’ll do this idea, “But it’s an idea. “Most men in America, if they just wouldn’t drink their calories, they could eat exactly the same and they’d lose 30 to 50 pounds in one year”.
My jaw dropped. Well, it’s a clear enough how if a how is I’m not going to drink a calorie. I can look at it every time, that’s a final how that I can act on today or tomorrow. Now, the truth is as far as alcohol, I have no legalism about it but I just don’t… I never loved it… College, any time, I never was drawn that much to it. Now you might see me once in awhile again, but I said, “Okay, for 90 days “I’m not going to drink a calorie. Not gonna drink a drop, fine”.
You said I can never have ice cream again, that’s not gonna work. So you gotta pick a how that you will do. I started to think about juice. I said, “Doc, what about juice? Shouldn’t I drink juice to get my vitamin C and not catch a cold?” He said, “You wanna catch a cold, drink juice. It’s a big lie, it’s full of…
Sugar. Sugar. Kills your immune system. People get sick all the time because they drink juice. Stop it, drink a glass of water”. “Okay”. I haven’t had juice for seven years and I haven’t been sick, either.
“But Doc, what about soda?” Now y’all here are sophisticated, you call it soda, some of you in Atlanta you call it Coke no matter what it looks like. In Minnesota we call it pop ’cause we can spell that. So… So, pop, I said… I grew up in the poorest county in Minnesota. That’s one thing we did not get to have. Except for once every year at the county fair, we got to have one can you share with all six kids. That’s fun. And it wasn’t Coke or Pepsi like the rich kids, what was it?
Not in Minnesota, but I know where you’re talking you’re from. Shasta. Nickel a can, baby. That was so special to me, I started flying more 20 years ago, that flight attendant says I can have my very own can, I cannot say no. I go back to childhood.
I used to say Coke, then I’d say two. That’s a meal, Doc said. So I’m automatic. You sit next to me today on the plane home, I’m automatic. What’s the calorie-free on Delta? Fresca or Diet Coke or water, but who wants to do that? That’s no fun. I’m automatic, Fresca, Fresca, Fresca. One out of ten I’ll do a Diet Coke. I know someone’s gonna stand back there, “Oh David, that’s bad for you too, it’s got aspartamane, aspertane, I can’t spell it but it’s got”- Leave me alone, I had to make one change at a time!
The point is not anything except for I’ve asked how until I can act on it today or tomorrow. How? Okay, no calorie, I can drink it. Your final how must include the who, when and where if needed.
Here is David’s take on thinking beyond yourself and how he has made realizations of this important thing over the years.
Last weekend, our whole extended family got together for my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. And it is just a delight to see mom and dad still healthy and loving each other. My dad turns 90 this year. Before the big celebration, all these things, I took a little gator ride through the fields. He still lives on the farm, a 1500 acre farm, maybe now it’s only 1200 acres or so, where I grew up, and was showing me the crops and showing me what he’s doing.
I went to this one area and he said, “Yeah, I planted 275 trees this year.” Every year he plants trees. On average he plants over 1000 trees a year. I can remember growing up, even planting 2500 trees, getting a tree planter and we’d plant trees all over our farm.
But I thought about this because he was showing me some of the trees he planted this year. And they’re beautiful, and they’re expensive, and it isn’t just like taking and planting 1000 Norway pine or spruce trees, it was flowering trees, and it was fruit trees.
I said, “Dad, why’d you do that? “You’re not even gonna see this tree grow up.” I might not have said it just like that, but we both knew he’s not gonna see the fruit of these trees. And his line was,
“Because I know somebody will enjoy it.”
He was thinking ahead so much about others, and when I think about, there are many secrets, I think, to their marriage and to their success in business, having a farm, and even in family, I sure benefited by his example, but especially both of their example to serve others and to think of others first. This idea that, I don’t know, but somebody is gonna enjoy this, and I’m doing it not for me, but for them.
There are counterforces to each of the pillars of trust, these forces that are working against the strengthening of each pillar in an organization. Here are a few of them just to get you thinking about possible counterforces in your team or your organization.
Counterforces of the Pillars
Clarity. People trust the clear, and they mistrust or distrust the ambiguous. Ambiguity is a counterforce to trust, but so is complexity. Whenever we see an organization that overcomplexifies beyond what is needed, we know they might be losing clarity, which is losing trust.
Compassion. We trust those that care beyond themselves, have intent beyond themselves. What are some of the counterforces? Well, outright cruelty is certainly a counterforce to compassion as a pillar, but the more common one in organizations that we see? Ambivalence; if we see people ambivalent to others, not really caring, that is a strong counterforce to compassion.
Character. If we see dishonesty or fudging or a creep against integrity, we know we’ve found a counterforce for character. Number four is competency. What’s a counterforce to staying fresh and relevant and capable? Well, unwillingness to learn is one, but one you might wanna look for is arrogance. When we see people that think they know it all, we see a counterforce to competence, because they’re probably not staying fresh and relevant and capable.
Commitment. We trust those that stay committed in the face of adversity. A couple of counterforces to commitment are just unfaithfulness or disengagement.
Connection. We know we trust those that are willing to connect and collaborate. If I look inside of a company and I see a lot of silos or a lot of selfishness, I know I’ve found counterforces to connection.
Contribution. This is that pillar that speaks to results. We trust those that contribute results. What are some counterforces to results? Well, laziness is one of them, but so is just a lack of organization or a lack of focus. When people aren’t getting the most important things done, we know we’ve got a counterforce to contribution.
Consistency. Some of the counterforces to consistency are carelessness. People just don’t care enough to do it right or make it the same. Another counterforce might be people being overstretched, so they just can’t keep up with the system or can’t worry enough about making it the same.
So these thoughts were just to get you started on seeing that there are counterforces to each of the great pillars of trust. Maybe you can think of some you can see in your organization or organizations where you’ve worked.