Small Business | Coaching | Consulting | Positioning Systems | with |Doug Wick

Strategic Discipline Blog

Trust – Critical Element in Strategic Discipline

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Thu, Aug 30, 2012

Yesterday I re-entered the hospital.  It goes without saying that I must trust the doctors, nurses and health care for bone marrow transplant that is planned for me.

How about the trust you have for your leadership team down to your tactical level employees.  What’s your level of trust? 

At a recent sales training meeting we discussed the important elements of trust which come from a blog that I’ve been following recently The Trusted Advisor.

The Key Core Concepts of Trust according to Charles H. Green are:

  • Trust Equation
  • Trust Creation Process
  • Trust Principles

Let’s examine one of the three core concepts in this blog.  The trust Equation simply is this:two cliff climbers (trust) resized 600 

Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy


Taken from Green’s work in the Trusted Advisor: Credibility has to do with the words we speak. In a sentence, we might say, “I can trust what she says about intellectual property; she is very credible on the subject.

By contrast, reliability has to do with actions. We might say, for example, “If he says he’ll deliver the product tomorrow, I trust him, because he’s dependable.”

Intimacy refers to the safety or security that we feel when entrusting someone with something. We might say, “I can trust her with that information; she’s never violated my confidentiality before, and she would never embarrass me.”

Self-orientation refers to the focus of the person in question. In particular, whether the person’s focus is primarily on himself or herself or on the other person. We might say, “I can’t trust him on this deal—I don’t think he cares enough about me, he’s focused on what he gets out of the deal.” Or—more commonly—“I don’t trust him—I think he was too concerned about how he was appearing, so he wasn’t really paying attention.”

Increasing the value of the factors in the numerator increases the value of trust. Increasing the value of the denominator—that is, self-orientation—decreases the value of trust.

Since there is only one variable in the denominator and three in the numerator, the most important factor is self-orientation. This is intentional. A seller with low self-orientation is free to really, truly, honestly focus on the customer. Not for his own sake, but for the sake of the customer. Such a focus is rare among salespeople (or people in general, for that matter).

You can see where a great deal of Self-Orientation as a leader is dependent on how you come across to your team.  Is your focus on your people or is on what you wish to achieve and your own personal gain? 

I’ve spoken to you previously on the value of gaining intimacy with the people who take care of me, and how that builds my confidence and trust in them.  While we may believe that credibility and reliability are elements of your company or institution, the reality is that people provide the action that determines how this is communicated.  Finally the person you are working with reveals an understanding of the Self-Orientation.  Are they interested in their own interests or are they dedicated and committed to you and your results and outcome?

Examine your people from a perspective on how they build trust.  Perhaps they don’t fully understand these principles and should be trained on the variables and concepts that require building trust.

In our meeting we asked the sales people to provide their five very best customers and rank them in terms of how much they trusted and respected them.  On a scale of 1-10 each sales person provided an average of these customers.  At the lowest these werean 8.4 in each or better, in fact several had 10 or more as their average.  The point?  When customers respect and trust your sales people they do more business and are better customers.  As you might expect when sales people trust the customer, that trust is invariably reciprocated. 

Can you increase the level of trust with your leadership team and cascade that down to your front line staff?  If so you can greatly increase the proficiency and performance leve

Topics: Acute Myeloid Luekemia, Strategic Discipline, People, performance, Trusted Advisor

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







New Call-to-action


New Call-to-action


New Call-to-action

Subscribe to Email Updates

Click below to Schedule a Free 30 Minute Discovery Appointment NOW: 

Positioning Systems Brand Promise

1. Priorities: Determine your #1 Priority. Achieve measurable progress in 90 days.

2. Metrics: Develop measurable Key Performance Indicators. 

3. Meetings: Establish effective meeting rhythms. (Cadence of Accountability)  Compounding the value of your priority and metrics. 

(BRAND PROMISE GUARANTEE): We will refund all compensation if our disciplined coaching and proprietary tools fail to meet your expectations.

Certified Gazelles Coach

Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

Latest Posts

Browse by Tag

see all