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Earning Our Way

I’m in a reverie as I walk through my neighborhood on an unusually lovely spring day, noticing the bird song, touches of green, and the waft of the breeze.  My step has fallen into an accustomed pace, letting my mind wander. 

And then, this truck.  “Earning your trust, one move at a time.”  It actually stops me in my tracks, and I quickly pull out my phone to take a shot.  The synchronicity of seeing this makes me smile, as a few weeks ago we completed our Trusted Leader series with our 2020-21 cohort. 

There’s so much that feels applicable about this tagline and its promise for leaders.  In the context of what might be sweeping changes within an organization, certain moves often bring with them a loss of what had felt important or precious. What we choose to move forward is often tender and tenuous; the care with which we do that is important.

The tagline lays bare that trust is earned ‒ one move at a time ‒ with the implied message that the movers are aiming for the long-term relationship, not the transactional, one-time shot that gets the business.  Earning trust underscores ongoing work.  We don’t just “arrive” and then expect to not keep investing.  It’s not leveraging privilege or title or recounting all the wonderful things we’ve done in the past, expecting that trust is owed.  Instead, it’s continuing to invest in relationships, approaching challenges courageously and wholeheartedly, and knowing that the essential work of trust-building is never done. 

And finally, there’s that number to call for the movers.  Will the other engage with us again?  Have we earned their trust?  Determining whether we are trustworthy is not something we can just pronounce ‒ it’s for the other person(s) to decide.  Authentic, caring, and consistent action helps build a way of being that others can anticipate and count on.  It’s what we have to offer, our part of the relationship. 

What’s your “promise” to those around you—your colleagues, your loved ones, your community—that will make you trustworthy?

What does it take to earn your trust?

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