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Beating the Odds

The Power of Trust

Scottish poet George McDonald said, “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”

This comes to mind because of a Geoffrey James article in Inc. titled “8 Things Great Bosses Demand from Employees.”

Top on the list is “Be True to Your Word.”

Writes James, “Your boss wants to trust you. Really.  Therefore, whenever you accept an assignment, follow through religiously, even fanatically. Do what you say you’re going to do. Never overcommit, and avoid hedging your bets with vague statements like “I’ll try” and “maybe.” Instead, make your word carry real weight.”

This advice applies not only to the relationship between boss and worker, but also to coaches and athletes, teachers and students, friends and even spouses. No one wants to be lied to or fooled.

As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”

A friend of mine recently had a chance to meet baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken. A slugging infielder, Ripken is best known for playing in 2,632 consecutive games, the most in big-league history.

He was the ultimate in trust. For more than 16 seasons, managers trusted to Ripken to show up in shape to play, and to give his best effort. Ripken never betrayed that trust.

If you want to have a great relationship with anyone, begin by doing what you say you are going to do.

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Would you like to improve at what you do? “The Improvement Factor: How Winners Turn Practice into Success” can show you how! Are you a coach? “Ten Things Great Coaches Know” can make you a better one.


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