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Friday, October 31, 2008


Eric Musselman, former NBA head coach (and probably a future one as well) writes a wonderful blog. He wrote concerning the principles he gleaned from Stephen Covey's new book, The Speed Of Trust and I am going to excerpt his thoughts here:

Trust is grounded in character (integrity, motives, intent) and competence (skills, capabilities, results, track record). "Character is a constant; it's necessary for trust in any circumstance. Competence is situational; it depends on what the circumstance requires."

Credibility also plays an important role of trust. It's grounded in four factors. The first two deal with character. The second two deal with competence.

1. Integrity: Walking your talk. Acting in accordance with your values and beliefs.

2. Intent: Our motives and agenda.

3. Capabilities: Abilities that inspire confidence -- talents, attitudes, skills, knowledge, and style.

4. Results: Track record, performance, getting the right things done.

You can enhance your credibility by increasing your capabilities:

1. Play to your strengths. "Feed strengths and starve weaknesses." Make your weaknesses irrelevant.

2. Keep yourself relevant by continuously learning new things.

3. Know where you're going. "At the end of the day, people follow those who know where they're going."

Covey then lays out 13 behaviors of "high-trust people and leaders worldwide." I've listed them here:

1. Talk straight. This is honesty in action. It's based on "the principles of integrity, honesty, and straightforwardness." Talking straight means (1) telling the truth and (2) leaving the right impression. Use simple language. Let people know where you stand. On the other hand, beating round the bush, withholding information, double-talk, spinning -- all of these behaviors diminish trust.

2. Demonstrate respect. Show you care. Be kind. You can't fake this, so don't try.

3. Be transparent. Be open. It's about being real. Authentic. Operate on the premise of "what you see if what you get."

4. Right your wrongs. This means more than just saying you're sorry. It means making restitution. It's taking action and doing what you can to correct the mistake -- and then doing more than what's necessary or expected.

5. Show loyalty. How? By giving credit to others, speaking about others as if they're present, and acknowledging the roles of others, regardless of their title.

6. Deliver results. If you want to build trust fast, the best way to do it is by delivering results. Don't overhype. "Look for people who are short on talk and long on delivery. Give the best opportunities to the big producer who doesn't talk rather than the big talker who doesn't produce."

7. Get better. "Unless we improve our capabilities dramatically, we're going to be inadequate to the challenge." We get better by seeking feedback and learning from our mistakes. "Be a constant learner. Act on feedback you receive. Don't consider yourself above feedback."

8. Confront reality. "Take issues head one, even the 'undiscussables.' Address the tough stuff directly. Acknowledge the unsaid. Don't skirt the real issues. Don't bury your head in the sand."

9. Clarify expectations. Understanding that "almost all conflict is a result of violated expectations," work to "create a shared vision and agreement about what is to be done up front. This is one of those behaviors that people rarely pay enough attention to. If you focus on this one up front, you will avoid heartaches and headaches later on." Discuss expectations. "Don't assume that they're clear or shared."

10. Practice accountability. "A good leader takes more than their fair share of the blame and gives more than their share of the credit." Because we live in an "increasingly victimized society," many people don't want to accept responsibility. This creates "dependency and distrust." As the author puts it: "Accountability builds extraordinary trust when people feel secure that everyone will be held to certain standards." Failure to do so "creates a sense of disappointment, inequity, and insecurity."

11. Listen first. "When you listen first, you get insight and understanding you wouldn't have had. You make better decisions. And you show respect. The impact on trust is amazing."

12. Keep commitments. This is big: "To break commitments or violate promises is the quickest way to destroy trust. When you make a commitment, you build hope. When you keep it, you build trust."

13. Extend trust. "Most people are capable of being trusted, want to be trusted, and will run with trust when it is extended to them. 'False trust' giving people the responsibility, but not the authority or the resources to get a task done. By extending trust, you empower people."

Covey concludes that "leaders who extend trust to us become our mentors, models, and heroes. We're overwhelmed with gratitude when we think about them and about the difference they have made in our lives."
I will be posting later to follow up on my earlier post about why I am voting for John McCain. Just let me ask you, based upon what you have just read, which Presidential candidate best fits these criteria?

On a personal note, I did a lot of work to put together a large and very expensive true IPS solution for a multi-national company. The solution was for their office on the West coast of the USA. We thought we had a deal to close in October, but the whole thing has been put on hold. The company HQ is in Japan and Japanese stocks fell along with US stocks as the Fannie/Freddie fiasco (caused by Democrats, as you know) helped impact the world markets.

Now my big deal is on hold. The Japan HQ has withdrawn their purchase order. They want to see who is elected President and how the business world reacts. The implication is that an Obama win may be popular to the news outlets around the world, but businesses are fearful. If McCain wins, I may yet get this deal, because it is on life support but not yet dead. If Obama wins, they will pull the feeding tube and send the body of my deal to the morgue. So I now have a stake in the election financially!

But as I discussed this with the local company representative I realized that financially this election would be important to me anyway. The economy might do okay at first under an Obama administration but the higher taxation will take jobs away and chase businesses to other shores. Since I can only sell legally to the US and Canada without jumping through various hoops, this will hurt my business endeavors so I have realized it isn't just my heart and mind and my regard for my country, it is my wallet and my family and my house on the line as well. Barack Obama is a threat to the well-being of my family until we face ruin and which time he apparently would step in by policy and give us enough help once we are considered the working poor and maybe even find a way to scrape by with government support and assistance.

In despair, I might decide to ask for help because of my injuries and seek handicapped status. But that goes against my personal beliefs. As long as I can make my way in this world I want no special parking spaces nor do I need for Uncle Sam to support me simply because I have injuries that have taken away my ability to work most jobs. I can still work a desk job, which plenty of healthy Americans do by choice.

No, that is the way of surrender. I'll continue to fight for what I see as Truth, even if Obama begins to "fundamentally change America" as he vowed he would do in a campaign speech made on Thursday the 30th of October.

Is this the action of a trustworthy President? Below from Drudge:


The Obama campaign has decided to heave out three newspapers from its plane for the final days of its blitz across battleground states -- and all three endorsed Sen. John McCain for president! The NY POST, WASHINGTON TIMES and DALLAS MORNING NEWS have all been told to move out by Sunday to make room for network bigwigs -- and possibly for the inclusion of reporters from two black magazines, ESSENCE and JET, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Despite pleas from top editors of the three newspapers that have covered the campaign for months at extraordinary cost, the Obama campaign says their reporters -- and possibly others -- will have to vacate their coveted seats so more power players can document the final days of Sen. Barack Obama's historic campaign to become the first black American president.

MORE Some told the DRUDGE REPORT that the reporters are being ousted to bring on documentary film-makers to record the final days; others expect to see on board more sympathetic members of the media, including the NY TIMES' Maureen Dowd, who once complained that she was barred from McCain's Straight Talk Express airplane. After a week of quiet but desperate behind-the-scenes negotiations, the reporters of the three papers heard last night that they were definitely off for the final swing. They are already planning how to cover the final days by flying commercial or driving from event to event. "

If one press member is especially annoying, Obama could do as McCain did and tell her to get her own plane and let the NYT send someone in her place. Candidates have that right. But tossing out entire news organizations because they endorsed the other candidate? Wow.

Pastor Martin Niemöller penned these words in the last century, yet they still ring true:

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

The Obama administration would be coming for the "big oil companies" and "rich executives" and free speech on talk radio and then all big companies and then all executives and then all businesses and all property owners and all newspapers who oppose them and then all who make more than the national average income and all bloggers and then...?

Can Obama fundamentally change the USA? If he has a full majority in both houses, the radical side of the party is prepared to bring as many radical leftists into the federal courts as they can, which will impact this nation for decades to come. More about this election in my next post.

1 comment:

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