Leadership Thought – Trust

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It appears to me that the immune system within all human interactions have the “white blood cells” of trust. The degree in which those cells are nourished appears to denote how strong and prosperous is the relationship. Low levels of trust, will create chronic interactions, misinterpreted communications, unmet expectations, exhaustive and unproductive discussions. In short, wasted time and energy.

Most people seemed to know that these are the negative “fruits” of relationships plagued with poor, or no trust. However, few seem to pay attention to what gives life and nourishment to this immune system called trust. How do we access the properties giving trust a “heliotropic” aspect to grow and prosper? Like everything that is based on universal principles, its simple, but rarely observed, let alone practiced:

Make and keep promises!

When I introduce this concept to clients, most realize immediately its power and consequences. However, the Western Industrial executive is a product of an intensely fortified sensate culture, with an addiction for control, mastery, and domination. Most will think that by making few promises, that’s the way to become an enlightened leader. LOL! Missing the whole point of “being” your word, and the subsequent actions of integrity. Missing the point of interpersonal creation comes from making promises with self and others, thus unconsciously relegating themselves to living small and “safe” risk-free lives! Wow! To really live a life, creating, creativity, innovation is a big part of it. The paradox is no one will keep all promises, yet promise we must. The dilemma is the dissonance between how many you make, and how many you keep! In spite of the risk, we must make promises, and live through the uncertainty of the outcome. The resulting virtue being humility!

First written by Marianne Williamson, and then popularized by Nelson Mandela’s inauguration speech, we all seem to struggle with “Our Deepest Fear”:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

What promises are you making to yourself? Are you increasing your trust capability with yourself? What promises are you making to others? Are you increasing your trust capability with others? If so, great, if not, why not?

Leadership Practice:

Determine three bold promises you need to make. Take a risk, and make promises which you have the potential to complete this week. Share it with someone you love, and who loves you.

Meet the one you shared your promises with next week. Discuss the results. Why, or were you not able to, keep the promises made? What internal forces helped or hindered the process? What external forces helped or hindered the process?

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