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Posts tagged ‘Warren Buffett’

the power of trust in your life

Start the new year understanding how trust plays out in your world and you will be ahead of the pack.I want to help build a wave of positive trust. Trust is built or destroyed. In today’s world you can see evidence of low trust-scandals, fraud, divorce.

But the paradox is that parallel to that decline you also can see a rebirth of trust, of integrity, of ethics.  There is a growing awareness that the approach that violates principles of trust and of integrity are not sustainable- not on a person, corporate or societal scale.  Trust is not just a soft, kind way to do business. It is a better way, a more effective way to become profitable and sustainable.

The principles of  trust include integrity, ethics, intent, capabilities and competence. To grow sustainable trust it takes enough people, Critical Mass, to actually have an impact.

I want to be part of helping to establish this wave of positive trust. That is why I wrote this blog today.  I want to encourage people to have self trust and to produce results that will promote trust in their lives, and therefore in the lives of others.

David Elburn, a British sociologist, studied trust in nations, and trust among peoples in nations. There has been a precipitous decline in trust in society.

  • 34% of Americans trust other people
  • 23% people in Latin America trust others
  • 18% of people in Africa trust other people
  • 29% of people in Great Britain as opposed to 60% 40 years ago.
  • 28% of people worldwide believe CEOs were credible,or believable.

The flip side of that-the paradigm-is that some nations have higher trust.

  • 68% of people in Scandinavia, Denmark, Sweden and Norway believe in other people.
  • That is double of what the stats of trust are in North America!
  • Mexico has had an increase in trust of 12% over the past 20 years.
  • India has higher trust levels.

This gives people an advantage.

Trust is tangible, you can feel it. It is a skill. If people believe it is a skill to be honed they can focus on doing that. Trust is an economic driver, an engine. It makes a difference in the success and prosperity of an individual, of teams, of companies, and even countries.

“You can actually become very skilled and capable at establishing trust in all your relationships.”     Stephen Covey, author of  The Speed of Trust

Trust is a competency, a skill you can get good at, your company can get good at, that societies can get better at so that   ALL can experience benefits and fruits, all the results flowing from having high trust as opposed to the concerns and problems and indecision  surrounding low trust.

Let us take a look at some great leaders of our times.

Nelson Mandela                    Martin Luther King, Junior John F. Kennedy

Were they great because the masses trusted them or because they were trustworthy themselves?

-If people are trustworthy, that in fact, helps create opportunities for them to accomplish great things.

-If they are not credible, believable to other people, everything they do will be taxed, their ability to do great things will dissipate, their legacy will be less.

There is no question that what gives people great influence is their credibility and trust they have with people and then they can really leave behind a truly positive influence.

Sometimes people are in a positions of power, with authority, but are not trustworthy. Therefore they are not trusted. I’m sure we can all think of a politician who has been elected but through his actions once elected he makes people doubt him. Is he/she reelected? Not likely.

So, even though people have a position of power, with authority to accomplish things, their accomplishments will be diminished, their effect is not lasting, not uplifting, not as positive. Their efforts will be out of compliance as opposed to inspiration.


People who trust someone hear what they say differently than someone who doesn’t trust them, isn’t that true?  Instead of getting the benefit of the doubt, mistrust begets questions about the person’s agenda, intentions, abilities, etc.

Perhaps the presidency of Barrack Obama is a good example.  Some people in the United States love him and hang on his every word. Others doubt his integrity, his intentions and therefore do not give him the benefit of the doubt. His popularity in the polls shows that his trust has lowered since being elected.

“It’s a greater compliment to be trusted than to be loved.”   George McDonald

Let’s look at a very successful public figure-Warren Buffet.  He is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway .

He is              -one of the richest people in the world

-one of the most successful people in the world

-one of the most trusted business leaders in the world


Warren Buffet has character and competence.

1) he’s known for absolute integrity. He talks straight, no manipulating, no hedging, no spinning-he tells the truth

2)he’s capable–widely regarded as one of the most successful investors in the world

3)he’s smart–he has a great track record of results

4)he extends trust to other people, to the companies he buys, to their leaders and managers

That is what makes a leader, an individual, a person, credible and trustworthy. It’s the combination of character and competence. Both are vital to have positive trust.

Because Warren Buffet has earned high trust from the business world he can do deals  in a matter of hours that would take someone with less earned trust months to accomplish.


The simple definition of trust is confidence. The opposite of confidence is suspicion. When I am suspicious of someone I don’t trust them. I am suspicious of their motive, agenda, honesty or ability to get things done.

What about Al Capone? He was competent at what he did. He knew how to get the job done! He lacked character, however. His integrity, his motives, were out of step with high trust.


Trust always affects to  two outcomes:  1-speed 2-cost

When trust is highspeed is high-cost is low

When trust is lowspeed is low-cost is high

Our current situation with air travel illustrates this concept.  After 9/11 peoples’ trust in our safety, our confidence in flying, went down. People stopped flying. To increase confidence in air travel strict security measures were inputted.  The increased security is a prop for lack of trust. But with the increased security the speed of travel is low-taking hours to get through security and inspections instead of minutes, and the cost of implementing all this security is high.


Focus first on our own personal credibility-our character and our competence.

Are you ethical?        Are you a person of integrity?        Are you congruent in all aspects?

Nido Qubein-author, businessman, motivational speaker & consultant urges us to intentionally look at every part of our lives and make sure it is congruent-sending the same message ie)do what you say, say what you do, live what you say    Check out his site at

You need to have that knowledge of yourself and what you stand for and where you are going in order for you to trust yourself and in order for others to trust you.

-if you are not a person of integrity, you won’t be trusted

-if you are motivated to just help yourself and not those you are working with, they will not trust you

You tend to trust people who are acting in your best interest, not in theirs.

So start with yourself, your own integrity and intent. you then move to your CAPABILITIES