I have read Stephen M.R Covey books now for a number of years as he made sense of a difficult subject in “Speed of Trust” and “Smart Trust” In Smart Trust he writes about the decline and the decay of trust within our societies and cites the following examples:
- The United States is increasingly becoming a low-trust society as trust drops in Government, Business and Media.
- Trust in the Media reached it’s lowest point in 2010 since Gallup started measuring it in the early 1970’s.
- Only 46% of informed respondents in the US, and 44% in the UK trust business to do what’s right.
- Only 40% of informed respondents in the US and 33% in the UK trust government to do what’s right.
- Only 53% of US employees believe their boss is honest.
- 69% of Americans are dissatisfied with the ethical climate in today’s society.
There would be no reason to believe that Australia bucks the trend, and a recent book by Geoff Aigner and Liz Skelton, Australian Leader Paradox indicates similar trends where we are unhappy with current leadership in Australia at most levels, but not really sure how to define what we want.
So what do we do with this? Many feel helpless to change this decline and environment. We accept it as part of the landscape and try and weave around the landmines that exist.
When I talk about Building Trust as a leader, I make leaders aware that they need to be trustworthy. They cannot expect others to trust them, if they in fact cannot be trusted. This is the starting point for all of us. If we wish to build a world of greater trust, we need to accept that we need to trust and be trusted. We cannot accept blind trust, as trust only comes from a foundation that has been built.
Can we accept that one person can make a difference. As a general concept, if everyone felt they COULD make a difference, we have an almighty rush of people making a difference…but please remember “Mass Movements do not start with the Masses”…they start with people who want to make a difference and others join over time. Let’s make a difference together.
- Don’t accept that the Media represents society. Read alternative views and make your own mind up.
- Hold our politicians to account, NOT JUST AT ELECTION TIME, but every time they breach our trust.
- Hold our corporations to account by choosing to deal with those that operate ethically and with a community focus. Let’s look beyond compounding profits annually and lets look at leaving the world better.
- Accept that when we use Smart Trust, that at times someone will break our trust. Don’t allow that to be the catalyst to revoke our commitment to trust.
- Be the best in whatever you do, to show conclusively that you can be trusted.
- Be open, honest and get better at listening.
By working and living a trustworthy life, together we can make a difference. What other suggestions can you make?
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