"We're selling trust. We're selling transparency. And, and, and to think that trust is actually a differentiator in a service business, it's kind of a crazy thought, right?"
Brad Katsuyama said this last night on 60 Minutes. He actually said it in a way that indicated he could hardly believe it himself. He could hardly believe that he is having such success because he proved himself trustworthy.
No Brad...it doesn't sound crazy to me! It sounds like you have discovered that trust is a highly undervalued competitive advantage. As implied in the words of Bruce Lee, trust is in the "doing".
In a 60 Minutes piece called Is the Stock Market Rigged?, Steve Kroft highlights a problem in the American Stock Market computerized trading system...namely it wasn't fair. Brad Katsuyama was one of the people who discovered the problem, found a solution, and then started marketing his solution to others in the industry.
In essence, Katsuyama started his own stock exchange. Talk about being a little fish in a big pond. But he is excelling so far. Why? Trust!
How is this virtual unknown able to get well-known players in the financial markets to join his start up stock exchange? Trust!
When Brad found a solution to an unfair, but legal practice, he began showing other companies how to even the playing field.
In his book Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, Micheal Lewis chronicles the complex and highly technical story of how Katsuyama and company discovered how the stock market was rigged and what they did about it.
"Why is this kid, why is he able to all of a sudden sit at the center of the American Stock Market? And the answer is, when someone walks in the door who is actually trustworthy, he has enormous power. And this is the story, the story of trying to restore trust to the financial markets." Lewis said
I really enjoyed the piece on 60 Minutes because it showed that trust IS a competitive advantage. It is not a "nice to have"; it is a vital part of branding.
Trust is also a vital part of leadership.
As a coach, I meet a lot of leaders who believe--either consciously or unconsciously--that their title or position in an organization automatically makes them trustworthy. If anything, your title might give you the benefit of the doubt for a short time...I mean a very short time. But your character and your actions will prove whether or not you are really trust worthy.
5 ways to tell if you are not trusted:
1. If you are avoided...
They avoid partnering with you on projects or if they have to partner with you, they find a way to get what they need from someone other than you
2. If others frequently fact check you...
You tell person A something. Person A goes to person Person C to see if what you said was true
3. If others frequently ask for a second opinion...
You've stated your point. They actively search for another opinion. This point alone doesn't mean you aren't trustworthy, but coupled with any of the other points, it indicates you are not trusted.
4. If you aren't kept in the communication loop...
Knowledge is power and whoever has the knowledge has the power. If knowledge is purposefully being withheld from you, that is a sign you aren't trusted with it
5. Your responsibilities are shrinking...
If your responsibilities are growing smaller or have stagnated over time, that is a sign trust has been lost.
Trust is a competitive advantage.Here are a few books on trust you might want to check out:The Speed Of Trust by Stephen Covey, The Truth About Trust In Business by Vanessa Hall
What are other signs you would add to this list?
Hi there. I'm Julia. Founder, Executive Coach and Leadership Development expert at Brave Communication LLC. Unless noted, I wrote all of the posts here in.