Five Signs You Are Not Trusted

"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.

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?


Ladies! Stop Apologizing So Much...It's Hurting You!

Do you apologize for things that aren't you fault?

Is "I'm sorry" a regular part of your conversation with others?

If someone bumps into you, do you say "I'm sorry"?

If the waiter brought you an incorrect food order, do you apologize for sending it back?

If you answers yes to these questions I want to help you. You're excessive apology is hurting you and your advancement.


Stop Fighting For Your Limits

I never particularly liked Owen Wilson or Vince Vaughn until they made the movie The Internship in 2013. When the movie came out on video, I bought it. 

I love the movie, not so much for the actors, but because of the message. It places the emphasis on PEOPLE in a technology reliant world. 

My favorite line from the movie was delivered by Vince Vaughn. He was trying to convince a small shop owner to expand his business by using technology. The owner was hesitant and then Vince's character said it:

"If you fight for your limitations, you get to keep them"


4 Reasons Leaders Are Lonely

I know plenty of people striving to get to "the top". They want to be number one in their career pursuits. They strive to be in a leadership position but are rudely awakened once they get there.

I have been training leaders almost 10 years now. And it surprises me how often leaders are lonely with no one to turn to for support.
photo credit: Alessandro S. Alba via photopin cc 

According to a 2013 Sherpa survey of executives and senior managers, "Nearly 66% of CEOs do not receive coaching or leadership advice from outside consultants or coaches, while 100% of them stated that they are receptive to making changes based on feedback."

People rarely empathize with leaders because they are supposed to have it all together. They "have it all", right? What could possibly be the problem?


4 Reasons Why Telling the Truth Sucks

Has lying become the norm?

It was a question I asked the other day on another blog. The comment challenge asked people to give their opinions of whether people are consciously or unconsciously criticized for telling the truth. Does it seem telling the truth is only good for children's books but is unrealistic in "real world" work life?

I started the conversation by sharing how I was received when I told the cashier that my produce was organic after she began ringing it up conventional. But as the online conversation unfolded, I began to think more about the topic of lying, and then something else happened:

My 4 year old lied to me.

It was a flat out lie. Naturally I was upset. But it also prompted me to  ask "who taught him how to lie?" He is 4. He doesn't have the intellectual prowess (though other parents might argue against that point) to understand what a lie is. Then it hit me.

Lying is the most innate and primitve form of self preservation.

A child makes a split second choice to either be honest or not. A child isn't the only one who makes that choice. The choice is based on trying to preserve him or herself from harm.

As this conversation about lying at work unfolded on and offline, some people were quick to condemn it as wrong in general, but then simultaneously gave reasons why in small cases lying was ok.


How Wasting Time At Work Can Advance Your Career

photo credit: quinn.anya via photopin cc

Wasting time at work is a cardinal sin, especially to hard working people. But I recently came across an argument for why and how you should waste time in a specific way.

Dr. Lois P. Frankel is the author of Nice Girls Don't Get The Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers. As a woman and a coach to women in leadership, I picked up the book to see what mistakes I or my female clients could be making.

Mistake #3 is working hard. I was surprised to see that on the list. The American dream is to start from nothing and, through hard work, work your way to something. We are taught that if you work hard, you will be rewarded. But Frankel suggests that is not true. Here is the example she gave.


The One Thing Stopping You From Making Your Vision A Reality

Guest Blogger Ryan Bonaparte
This is a guest post by Ryan Bonaparte. He is a 20-something engineer, teacher, and aspiring inventor, and also dabbles in writing and learning about the world around him. He recently published a book, Crazy Enough To Try, and writes a blog about his searches for passion in his life and inspiring others to find theirs. 

Ryan interviewed me about my passion. Click here to read that interview.                                      
Sharing your passions is a great way to meet new people, to develop new ideas, and to just remind yourself why you do the things you do.

I've recently had quite a few conversations with fellow writers and creatives, as well as people in other fields about my projects, including Crazy Enough To Try. After each of these conversations, I've come away brimming with ideas. I've looked at how I approach writing, reading, creating, and any number of actions in a new light. I've refined my goals based on new insights. I've grown as a person and member of society.

During one of these particular conversations, I had a mini-revelation that really stood out. My friend was telling me about what she saw as the one of the largest advantages humans have over other species: the ability to communicate abstract concepts to each other.

From there my mind began to spin. It seemed like such a simple idea, but it really is quite extraordinary.