What is the most valuable and precious commodity in the world? Oil? Gold? Saffron? Or perhaps some rare Earth metal? The correct answer is; none of the above. The most valuable and precious commodity in the world is trust. An abundance of trust lubricates and accelerates positive endeavour in business, politics and personal relationships. In extreme cases the absence of trust leads to war, pestilence and famine. Even in the best case the absence of trust acts as a brake imposing costs and delay on progress in any enterprise.

Trust is difficult to build and easy to squander. To have trust deposited in you, you must be trustworthy. This is a quality with a component of competence and a component of character, both are necessary. When a client, an employee, a boss, a partner looks at you and asks themselves – “do I trust this person?” they are trying to discern whether you have the wherewithal to deliver what you say you will deliver as well as whether you have their best interests at heart. Absent one or absent the other, you are not worthy of trust in this particular circumstance.

How is trust built? Trust is built by providing value and providing it consistently over time. By value, I don’t mean just transactional monetary value, but rather value in its widest sense that may consist of good advice, a helping hand, keeping a promise, providing a recommendation or a piece of valuable information.Also you provide this value without expecting a reciprocal and immediate quid pro quo in every case.

In times past, people lived and worked in small communities and could determine quickly through direct contact and recommendation who was trustworthy and who was not. In our modern world of social media, email and long-distance, multi time-zone working the obstacles to building trust through direct person-to-person contact are increasing just as the need to have trustworthy friends, colleagues and associates in extended networks becomes ever more essential for success in life and business.

The value of trust is high and rising fast. If you have it, nurture it and grow it like the precious thing that it is. If you don’t yet have it investing in building your trustworthiness through providing consistent value to those around you may be the single biggest factor in your future success.

21st Century Warehousing: Strategy and Operation

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