Leading with Trust: Story Time

When it comes to trust-building, stories are a powerful tool for both learning and change. Our new Story Time series invites you to pause for a time-out from your hectic day to gather ‘round for an insightful tale. Today’s anecdote sheds light on an unexpected approach to developing new business with trust.

The Magic of Stories

Stories tell the lessons of leading with trust in a vivid and memorable way. They help us make sense of what it means to trust and be trusted. Stories appeal to the heart as well as the head, they bridge the gap between differing audience types, and they provide meaning and order to our existence.

They also inspire what every leader wants—action—by providing intellectual insight into specific trust behaviors to adopt, along with the emotional motivation to do so.

A New Anthology

Our upcoming book, The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust (Wiley, October 2011), is infused with a multitude of stories. Told by and about people we know, these stories illustrate the fundamental attitudes, truths, and principles of trustworthiness. Over the next several months we’ll share a selection of stories from the new book with you.

Today’s story is excerpted from our chapter on developing new business with existing clients. It vividly demonstrates the personal nature of trust and the value of adopting a long-term view.


From the Front Lines: In It for the Long Haul

A savvy private wealth manager in Canada told me the long-term view he takes with his clients.

“I once offered to do some free investment planning for a client’s 12- and 14-year-old children. My co-worker was confused why I was wasting my time with children.

“’Are you kidding?’ I said.  I regularly meet with clients’ children and explain the concept of saving, investing and risk.  Even at the ages mentioned I have had success in making the experience relevant for the children and ultimately appreciated by the parents.

“I believe in long-term focus and relationships. While working with clients’ children has resulted in referrals (a happy outcome to be sure) that is never our primary intent. Our purpose is to build long-term relationships by continuously delivering a remarkable experience for our clients and their families.”

—As told to Charles H. Green

Excerpted from The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust by Charles H. Green and Andrea P. Howe. Order your copy today!