What does it mean to be Trustworthy?
Trustworthiness stands squarely at the intersection of honesty and reliability. It connects authenticity with dependability, sincerity with service, and truth with action. It’s not a skill or a talent that we develop in isolation. Instead, it’s a critical character trait that we necessarily strengthen or diminish with our every word, act, and judgment.
Are we trustworthy?
I was recently asked what is our company’s greatest strength. My own view is that it has something to do with earning and building strong relationships at every level. As a company, we invest a tremendous amount of focus and energy into our relationships with customers, team members, and the communities we serve. As a company, we know that our success in building and maintaining these relationships is highly dependent on our trustworthiness.
Here are just a few rewards for being trustworthy:
- Trustworthy people enjoy more and better opportunities to lead. Their customers and team members trust their authentic confidence and candor in the face of both opportunities and challenges. Their leadership knows they will do their best every day, set a strong example for others to follow, and deliver a Job Done Right.
- Trustworthy people merit greater autonomy. Their reputation for initiative and transparency earns more independence. More importantly, they don’t abuse their independence, but work steadfastly to achieve and exceed expectations, which earns even more autonomy.
- Trustworthy people inspire their world, no matter how big or how small it may be. Their reputation for delivering on their promises makes others around them grow more comfortable, open, and willing. They raise people up indirectly, unconsciously, and even inadvertently. Their courage to consistently speak the truth is infectious.
- Trustworthy people seek out and stay at trustworthy companies. A trustworthy person has high expectations, demanding from others the same honesty and reliability that they demand from themselves. A company that shares those expectations feels like home to them. At the same time, an untrustworthy person stands out uncomfortably in an environment where others notice their over-promising, under-communicating, and playing games with the truth. They will not last long in a company that demands trustworthiness.
If trust is the heartwood of all relationships, then trustworthiness is what binds us all together. It also may be the key to our current and future success. Maybe we’ve earned the trust of our customers to dependably deliver on our promises. Maybe our team members have come to expect we’ll do our best every day to speak from the heart, act fairly, and do the right thing. And maybe the communities we serve welcome our presence because they know we are truly committed to help. Our mission is to deliver on those expectations every day.
Our core values tell us a lot about ourselves and our company. They are not just lofty goals, but true expectations. We will not succeed as a company or fulfill our personal aspirations unless we are trustworthy – and we can expect honesty from ourselves and each other.