Truth and trust matter; and truth and trust are an inseparable duo!
Truth connotes in accordance with fact or reality, or belief that is accepted as true; and trust is about reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, and surety of a person, place, or thing. Moreover, it is about confidence in a person, place, or thing. A personal contention is that trust is a result and is earned; and it seems to be intimately related to honesty, respect, and one’s capacity to influence others to willingly move toward common purposes. In a discussion of leadership for the twenty-first century, Rost (Leadership for the 21st Century, 1993, Praeger, 102) suggests that leadership is a trust-based, influence relationship between the respective leader and the self, and among leaders and followers who intend ethical changes that mirror their common purpose.
During a stint with corporate America, a beautiful person by the name of Hyler Bracey, president of the Atlanta Consulting Group, became part of my life. When Hyler was twenty-eight years old, he drove stock cars. One evening during a race, he was in a serious wreck, and his car exploded into flames. He suffered burns over 40 percent of his body. Today, Hyler is severely scarred, his face is scar tissue, and his deformed hands with stiff bent fingers remind one of brittle burned twigs in a campfire. The amazing thing about Hyler is that in moments after meeting him, one sees through his scars and trauma and is connected to his heart.
All this is by way of sharing that Hyler helped me appreciate that building trust is hard work and a result of action and that single violations of trust by the self and others are difficult to repair. His teaching was that trust is the fruit of a three-step process. First, over time, the parties in relationships make agreements and commitments and keep these agreements and commitments. Second, the mandatory critical first step in relationship maturation leads to the development of credibility and respect; and third, steps one and two create an environment of openness, honesty, and space for willing transformation and change. The fruit of these three interdependent steps is trust, a vital ingredient for quality relationships, honest dialogue, and transformation. Absent truth and trust, trust becomes conditional.
Yes, truth and trust matter; and truth and trust are an inseparable duo! Hyler and three of his consulting associates and friends—Jack Rosenblum, Aubrey Sanford, and Roy Trueblood—have written and published a wonderful book, Managing from the Heart (1990, Atlanta, GA: Heart). The power of positive, heartfelt choice is infinite and can clarify intention, unlock facing everything and avoiding nothing and beckon accepting 100% responsibility for evolving environments on all levels. Listening to the conscience and telling the truth are wonderful gifts; and trust is the earned result.