The Death of Trust

There’s one thing that, if you have it, you have everything you need.

It’s not money… or health… or relationships.

But if you have it, you’ll surely have all three – and more.

It’s trust.

And if you’ll hear us out, you’ll soon see the world is losing its trust faster than ever. We’re losing it so fast, in fact, we’d call it an epidemic.

But there is a way for you to keep what’s yours and recognize others who are worthy of your trust.

It’s quite simple.

To get there, though, we have to put our thumb on the problem.

Fake Trust

To see what the death of trust looks like, we simply need to look around.

Have you ever been in a meeting with a roomful of folks who don’t belong there? When there are 20 folks crammed around the table, but just three will do?

That’s the death of trust.

Those 17 other folks are there because they don’t trust the three who truly should be there.

Or how about politics?

There’s no compromise these days because one side doesn’t trust the other to not take advantage of the cross-aisle move.

They fear the campaign ads… the half-truths from the mainstream press… and that their constituents don’t trust their best intentions.

It’s led to quite a mess.

And what about this weird trend in corporate America for “full transparency”? It’s all the rage these days… yet few folks realize that it’s little more than a mask for deep distrust.

Companies know we’ve lost their trust… so they mask it with the guise of transparency.

Companies like Patagonia publish their entire supply chain.

Whole Foods is working on something it calls GMO transparency.

And some companies, like social media manager Buffer, reveal the salary of every employee via a publicly accessible Google doc.

You can view it here.

Most folks think this transparency trend is good. They feel good knowing they’re being told to feel good about things.

But we disagree.

Companies are transparent about only what they want to be transparent about. They disclose what matches their marketing. They turn it into an advertisement.

Eventually, the public catches on. And when it does, the trust meter plunges even further.

That’s because all this talk about transparency stems from the notion that trust is dead.

We don’t trust our leaders to make the right decisions… so we force our way into the meeting to see what’s happening with our own eyes.

We don’t trust our politicians to do what’s right… so we demand they stick to the published party lines.

And we don’t trust corporations not to abuse child labor or feed us cancer-causing chemicals, so we force them to show us everything.

Of course, all this just makes us feel better and ultimately makes things worse.

The lies end up bigger, more sophisticated and have even higher consequences.

But that point is obvious. Just look around.

What’s not so obvious, though, is what we can and should do about it.

That’s tricky. But done right, it will lead to all those grand notions we listed at the top.

Just Trust Me

First – this is paramount – we must know the difference between bonafide trust and hype.

Know that the notion of corporate transparency is a feel-good idea that’s designed to make you buy more stuff from that company.

It’s a fresh form of brand marketing.

Nothing more.

With that in mind, we must focus on the idea of integrity.

In other words, we must watch for what a person or company does when they think nobody is watching.

Instead of looking at what they tell us to look at, we must peek behind the closed door. We must look where they don’t want us to.

Amazon is learning that lesson the hard way.

It’s often voted as one of the nation’s most trustworthy companies… but the low-wage workers locked in the company’s warehouses seem to be begging us to think differently.

Of course, this isn’t all about companies.

Personal integrity is huge.

Do folks do what they tell you they will? Do they do privately the same things they do publicly?

Do you?

If not, pay attention.

It’s that notion that’s damned our culture.

We know our politicians are lying… and yet we still slap on their bumper stickers.

We know our corporations are pumping out dangerous products… and yet we still send them our money.

And, worse, we know that what we do when the spotlight is on us is different from what we do behind closed doors.

That’s no good.

In fact, it’s flat-out trouble.

Banish that mindset and you’ll not only find the folks that you can trust but also become a person that others trust.

And when that happens… you’ll have everything you need.

Be well,

Andy

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