“If someone scoffs
at the idea that trust
is important—or worse,
pretends it matters
but doesn’t back it up
with behavior that
that say? It simply
says, ‘I don’t care.’”
do you care?
This issue of CW is devoted to trust, and I’m going to start his conversation by throwing out a wild idea. Trust is not important. That’s right, you heard me: not important. If you live in a world where you don’t care about the people you
serve (your customers), or the people you work with (your employees),
or the success of the entity you represent (your organization), then trust
is simply one of those nice things that people say they like. Nice, as in
“I like puppies,” or sunshine, or smiley faces in emails, or bright colors.
They’re all sooo nice, but not really essential. You get my point.
But for those who really care, trust is not only important, it is paramount—and not because it’s a nicety, but because it is the difference
between an organization that is profitable and thriving and one that is
divisive, superficial and decaying from the inside out. Your customers can
tell the difference between an organization that lives the values that trust
represents and one that doesn’t. And your employees can most certainly
tell the difference, because they live that culture every day. The values of
trust include transparency in your communications, caring enough to
understand the needs of your customers and following through on the
promises you make to them. It also means respecting employees, not just
because they are people and it’s the decent thing to do, but because they
are your best brand ambassadors.
So if someone scoffs at the idea that trust is important—or worse, pretends it matters but doesn’t back it up with behavior that matches—what
does that say? It simply says, “I don’t care. I don’t care enough to do
the hard work that building and keeping trust requires, and I don’t care
about the organization’s stakeholders or its long-term success.” So is trust
important? The following pages will give you many concrete business reasons why it is, and I’ll give you one more: It shows that you care.