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Meet Anthony Iannarino: Pragmatic, Insightful, Focused. (He also loves our book.)

Anthony Iannarino, creator of The Sales Blog, recently reviewed our new book, The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust. Anthony is a thoughtful subject matter expert on what he calls “the new art of sales and sales management.” We’re pleased to introduce Anthony to you, if you haven’t met him already.

Adventures in Selling

Once again proving that my resistance to Twitter is often misguided, Charlie and Anthony first “met” in the Twittersphere, and when I joined the party Charlie suggested I follow Anthony. It’s not the first time Charlie gave me good advice.

Anthony’s blog posts are pragmatic, insightful, and focused. He writes daily on adventures in sales and selling, sales management, the sales process, and what it takes to succeed. But what really resonates for me about Anthony’s posts is the drum he beats about the underlying belief system that leads to success in sales. Some of my favorites include:

When Anthony’s not blogging, he’s juggling myriad roles: President and Chief Sales officer for SOLUTIONS Staffing, a best-in-class regional staffing service based in Columbus, Ohio;  Managing Director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company where he works to help salespeople and sales organizations improve and reach their full potential; and father of a thirteen-year-old boy and twin eleven-year-old girls. He has plenty to keep him occupied and we appreciate the time he took to read our book.

His review of the book, by the way, is Classic Anthony: pointed and thorough. Read it for yourself and find out what chapters he recommends zeroing in on. And don’t forget to turn to page 205 when you get your copy to read Anthony’s story about when to walk away.

Follow Anthony on Twitter, connect to him on LinkedIn, or friend him on Facebook.

Is Trustworthiness a Moral Value?

Every day, I’m a little blessed by the interest and thoughtfulness of our readers. Here’s an excerpted email I received this week that got me thinking.

The Email

Dear Charlie,

I took your free Trust Quotient (TQ) assessment. As I read it, the survey is presented as an evaluation of individual trustworthiness based on, among other things, credentials and one’s certitude in advancing a position based on one’s special knowledge.

To me, that’s not a measure of trustworthiness, but of perceived self-worth as measured by credentials and salesmanship.

I think of trustworthiness as a moral value.  I sense the value being measured in this test is not trustworthiness per se, but how deeply we identify with the importance of expertise and credentials, and how well we convince others of our personal trustworthiness by those same tokens.

Reader X

My Response (partial)

Dear Reader X,

Thanks so much for taking the time to express your thoughts. I suspect you and I are in complete agreement about trustworthiness as a moral virtue.

However, I think you misunderstand the TQ in a couple of ways―regarding the use of the quiz and regarding the idea of credibility.

Trusting the TQ

The TQ is first and foremost a self-assessment. If the results were used by third parties, for example for hiring or aptitude testing, it would render them useless, because it’s simple to skew the answers so that others would see it in a way the test-taker wanted to be seen.

However, if no one else sees it, then test-takers would only be fooling themselves and destroying a chance to build self-awareness.

Salesmanship Does Not Drive Trust

You suggest that the TQ assessment is “not a measure of trustworthiness, but of perceived self-worth as measured by credentials and salesmanship.”

A look at any recent survey shows trust has gone down. I suspect you might agree, however, that what passes for “salesmanship” has probably gone up. That, I suggest, is prima facie evidence that people perfectly well know the difference.

Does excessive “salesmanship” drive down trust? Of course it does.  You can see it in every factor of the Trust Equation, the theoretical model underlying the Trust Quotient.

When you run into a hustler or con artist:

with respect to Credibility―

    •     you don’t believe his words
    •     you don’t believe his sincerity
    •     you doubt his expertise and credentials

with respect to Reliability―

    •     you want to see outside verification: “Show me the CarFax!”
    •     you require legal contracts
    •     you examine track records

with respect to Intimacy―

    •     you hesitate to trust him with your private information
    •     you suspect his motives in trying to get close to you

with respect to Self-Orientation―

    •     you suspect he’s entirely in it for himself
    •     you see that when he pretends to be focused on you, he’s faking it.

Every part of the Trust Equation works in that case to show precisely how we do NOT trust such a person. This equation doesn’t suggest untrustworthy behavior—on the contrary, it provides the diagnostic tool to describe and identify such behavior.

Trustworthiness and Morals

I don’t think you can have morals without relationships. And just as the least trustworthy people are those who violate relationships by lying, bullying, and trying to hustle people for their own ends, so likewise are the most trustworthy people those who honor the Other in their relationships.

That means those who:

  • are honest about what they know and about what they don’t know
  • put their knowledge in service to the Other rather than to just looking good
  • can keep confidences
  • play in the long-run relationships game, not in the short-run transactions game.

Your comments fascinated and engaged me. I thank you for your passion, and hope you’ll forgive my reacting passionately as well.

Charlie

This particular reader chose to opt out after the free portion of the TQ because she felt it was contrary to her view of trustworthiness and morals. Too bad, because I think if anything, the opposite is probably true. As a result she missed out on the really cool stuff about the TQ:

  • The Trust Temperaments—the six psychological categories that describe how you go about being trusted
  • Most importantly, very practical, extensive suggestions about how you can improve your trustworthiness.

So let me ask the rest of you—how could we have written the free portion of the TQ test more attractively so that Reader X would have stuck around to find out the Good Stuff? Your suggestions are welcome.

Story Time: Risky Business

Our Story Time series brings you real, personal examples from business life that shed light on specific ways to lead with trust. Our last story told of the upside of being willing to walk away. Principle pays off in today’s story.

A New Anthology

When it comes to trust-building, stories are a powerful tool for both learning and change. Our new book, The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust (Wiley, October 2011), contains a multitude of stories. Told by and about people we know, these stories illustrate the fundamental attitudes, truths, and principles of trustworthiness.

Today’s story is excerpted from our chapter on risk-taking. It vividly demonstrates the potential upside of sticking to your guns.

From the Front Lines: Telling a Difficult Truth

Lynn P., a career systems consultant serving largely government clients in the United States, tells a story about taking a risk under pressure.

“Eleven years into my career, I took over a major project. A key phase, testing, was way behind schedule, and the Testing Readiness Review was only two weeks away. Passing the review was a very big deal: it meant completing a milestone and getting a payment for my company.

“I was due to present to all the clients and the senior managers of my own company. It was intimidating—and I was intimidated.

“I was under significant pressure to keep the program moving by passing the review. I also knew that we were not ready to pass.

“Knowing it could cost me my job, I went line by line through our assessment, citing the facts as I saw them. I said we did not pass the review and that we would need to delay to correct the critical items.

“There was complete silence in the room.

“My top executive asked, ‘Are you sure?’

“I said yes.

“After the meeting, both my client and my senior managers approached me informally to commend me for ‘sticking to my guns’ and recommending what I believed to be right.

“Apparently, I had created trust—a lot of it. Over the next 18 months, I was given roles of increasing responsibility, and was eventually promoted to program manager.

“I now believe it was this event that drove the client to increase my role. The experience gave me greater confidence in my own judgment and skills. And finally, it was this program’s success that ultimately propelled my career to the next level.”

The willingness to take a risk by being principled can pay off hugely—as long as you’re doing it for the principles, not the payoff.

—As told to Charles H. Green

When have you stuck to your guns? What payoff did you get?

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Read more stories about trust:

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Listen to a podcast interview with Andrea Howe and Charlie Green on Trust Across America Radio.

While We’re in Book Promotion Mode…

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re now in heavy book promotion mode. The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook has recently published and we want the world to know about it.

What We’ll Be Talking About

We’ll be posting about media mentions. We’ll be posting about our posts that appear as guest blogs at other sites. We’ll be posting interviews with other authors and bloggers, live and recorded. And we’ll provide links to archived interviews, audio and text.

We hope you’ll share our enthusiasm. We’re excited, of course, and want to get it into as many hands as possible. We believe in our message and we believe that this book is a great tool that will help people gain and master trust.

Trust is more important than ever right now and we want to help people be net drivers for increased in trust in the business world and beyond.

Why We’re Saying This

We want to provide value in our blog posts, and know that event promotion per se isn’t necessarily of interest to you. We hope to keep it interesting by focusing on others; meantime, you can help promote the trust theme.

Because here’s the bottom line. We suffer these days not from too much trust, but from too little – in our politics, our institutions, our businesses, and our lives. We need to do two things better:

  • Be more trustworthy
  • Be more willing to trust others.

The better we get at these two tasks, the easier and better things get done. And getting things done is good for the economy.

And getting better at trusting and being trusted is good for the soul and for the body politic.

The September Trust Matters Review

Trust Equation

Kristi Hedges applies the Trust Equation to Oprah, explaining how Oprah hits each part of it.

Is it lack of trust that causes problems between China and the EU? China’s Fu Ying thinks so.

Barbara Kimmel looks into how trustworthy companies perform compared to the overal market.  Cold hard dollars perform.

Historian Kenneth Davis puts our current societal lack of trust in historical perspective.  Does history teach that there hope for America?  Read and find out.

Kristi Hedges (again) offers concrete advice on how to win over someone who doesn’t trust you.

Dr. Bjornstrom investigated the effect of trusting your neighbours on health.  It’s what you probably expect, but what’s interesting is the effect of money on trust.

Scott M. Fulton III discusses the effects of hackers attacks on the company that issues SSL certificates, the anchor of trust in the web.

Paul Zak thinks Oxytocin, the “empathy” molecule, could be the key to restoring trust in our world.  Is a chemical the solution to global trust issues?

Fourty-three percent of people won’t tell their doctors about symptoms of depression.  It’s a trust issue, but perhaps not the one you think.

Anthony Iannarino writes about how to deal with customers who have been burned by other salespeople, possibly from your company.  They don’t trust you: how do you change that?


The Trust Matters Review highlights the best articles and posts on trust our research has turned up in the last month.

For a live stream of our trust research, follow our team on Twitter: @CharlesHGreen, @AndreaPHowe, @StewartMHirsch, and @SandyStyer.

If you’d like to share a great article about trust, let us know on Twitter or in the comments here.

For more links to outstanding articles on trust, see:

 

The June Trust Matters Review

Trust Equation

This month at the Trust Review we’re going to intersperse the more recent articles and posts with some goodies, but oldies, including one article from the 90s because, really, trust, trust never changes.

Yves Smith tries to answer the question, how long can trust created by public institutions last? Well, here’s a hint, you can tell where the Hapsburg Empire once ruled by levels of trust in public institutions? Whoa.

Doug Bartholomew of Industry Week discusses the issue of trust between manufacturing suppliers and their customers, including hard data from 90s on how top suppliers operate. I wonder if it’s still true that trust pays for suppliers.

Knowledge@Wharton, back in 2005, had Peter Cappelli lead a discussion on a question which is eternal, at least since the creation of Human Resources. Does HR exist to be a bureaucratic pain in the neck, or is it actually useful, and, dare I ask, worth trusting to find top talent (what used to be known as good workers?)

The Trust Diva blog wonders if a contract can actually save you from the bad intentions of someone you’re doing business with. Or, to put it another way, should you do business with someone you don’t trust, trusting the contract to keep them on the straight and narrow?

Daniel H. Pink writes about a Columbian bank’s efforts to use incentives to convince its loan officers to not leave their work till the end of the month. Did it work? And more broadly, do incentives work?

Brad VanAuken makes a point about brands, a brand is nothing without trust. Or, to put it another way, like McDonalds food, or hate it, you know what you’re getting when you order a Big Mac. A brand is a promise. At the same blog, Mark Ritson meditates on Sri Lankan beer and trust.

The McLaren blog has a 12 part series on trust building behavior, and they’re up to number 11. A good reminder of the basic points. Start with number 1 – straight talking.

Anthony Iannarino writes about delegation—the art of giving tasks to their rightful owners, which means trusting them.

Dave Brock writes about the commoditization of referrals, the invitations to join “referral networks” with people you don’t even know and receive prizes in exchange for referrals.

Discover magazine on how the perception of choice makes us lose our compassion for people. Even if those people were completely the victim of circumstances.

Denny Coates: trust and they will trust back, give and they will give back. Do you believe this is true?


The Trust Matters Review highlights the best articles and posts on trust our research has turned up in the last month.

If you’d like to share a great article about trust, let us know, in the comments here.

For more links to outstanding articles on trust, see:

 

Warren Buffett and Managing Through Trust

On March 30, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway announced David Sokol’s resignation. Buffett’s reputation quickly took a bit of a hit from the likes of Joe Nocera.

Nocera suggests it wasn’t the first time Buffett had tap-danced his way out of a tight spot; he cites the Salomon Brothers’ bond scandal in the 1990s, and the General Re dustup in the mid-2000s.

What’s Nocera’s point? He later elaborated that Berkshire Hathaway is run by “rules that are extraordinarily lax by the standards of good corporate governance…Standards and practices have to change.”

Do Trust Violations Invalidate Trust?

Nocera’s examples amount to once per decade over the last 30 years. Buffett’s reputation is probably pretty safe, because a great truism about trust isn’t true at all: you know, that bit about how trust is hard to gain, but can be lost in an instant? Not true: trust takes roughly as long to dissipate as it took to create (see Toyota, J&J, Madoff).

But Nocera’s reaction is the norm. Ethical problems? Time to double up on compliance, standards and practices, procedures.

Nocera is speaking for business when he sees violations of trust as prima facie evidence of the failure of trust as a strategy.

In this regard, he could not be more wrong.

Charlie Munger and Wisdom of Managing through Trust

Charlie Munger is Buffett’s much-less-in-the-press partner. Buffett credits Munger with at least half the wisdom of the two, and quotes him often.

Munger lives up to his reputation in a trenchant article[1] by Darden Professors Brian Moriarty and Edward Freeman:

In response to a question about whether Berkshire needs more compliance controls Munger said:

…the greatest institutions in the world…select very trustworthy people and then trust them a lot.” He added, “I think your best compliance cultures are the ones which have this attitude of trust, and some of the worst with the biggest compliance departments, like Wall Street, have the most scandals.”

To Munger’s comment: Amen.

The violation of trust by someone who was trusted does not justify giving up on a strategy of trusting. In fact, if you never have a violation, one has to wonder how real your trusting is.

If all of Wall Street ran themselves like Berkshire Hathaway, and had one scandal per decade, we’d all be vastly better off.

Instead, we have an institutionalized belief system that the solution to ethical problems is a set of adversarial business processes. Dealing with ethical issues solely via compliance departments is the best way to take the trust and ethics out of management.

And if the bar is set at once per decade by famous journalists thinking they are acting in service to greater trust in business–well, heaven help us.


[1] The article was in the Washington Post, though the Post will make you jump through hoops to get it. I’ve linked to the hoops.

Trust Primer Volume 11

Our goal at Trusted Advisor Associates is to help people and their organizations become more trustworthy and trust-enhancing. It’s always exciting when we meet people who believe as we do. It’s even more exciting to talk to those who have found success by applying the same principles we talk about.

This month we place a spotlight on real trusted advisors, success stories of real professionals who make trust part of the foundation of their business strategies.

The Trust Primer Volume 11 features three powerful interviews: Chip Grizzard, CEO of Grizzard Communications; Jeb Brooks, son of author Bill Brooks and Executive Vice President of the Brooks Group; and Mahan Khalsa, partner of Ninety-five-5 and author of Let’s Get Real Or Let’s Not Play.

Each of these three demonstrate in their own unique ways how concepts of trust have played out for them in sales and leadership careers.

Get the Trust Primer volume 11 here

If you enjoy this ebook, you can email it to friends by following this link. Better yet, stop by the blog and join in the conversation. If you received this from a friend or colleague and would like to subscribe to the series, click here.

Upcoming Events and Appearances: Trusted Advisor Associates

Join us at one or more upcoming Trusted Advisor Associates events. This Spring, we’ll be hosting and participating in events in New York, NY; Fargo, ND and through globally accessed webinars.

Also, a word about the Trusted Advisor Mastery Program.

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Tues. Mar. 15th New York, NY Charles H. Green

Charlie will be speaking in New York, March 15th, with Jordan Kimmel at NYU Alumni’s Executive Forum. The subject is “Restoring Trust in Post-Madoff America: What it Means for Advisors, Companies and Investors.” National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South. 5:45 Cocktails, 6:30 Dinner, 7:30 Speakers. $75. RSVP for the event here.

 

Wed. Mar. 16th Global Charles H. Green

Charlie will interview investor relations expert Laura Rittenhouse, on the subject of “How the CEO Candor Crisis is Strangling Our Economic Recovery.” Laura is president of Rittenhouse Rankings, Inc., an investor relations company that advises managements on strengthening corporate candor in order to improve execution and financial valuation. The Rittenhouse Rankings annual survey is the world’s only benchmark to correlate financial performance with CEO Candor. She is the author of Buffett’s Bites and Do Business with People You Can Trust. Log in to listen at www.voiceamerica.com. 12pm EST.


Mon. Mar. 28th New York, NY Sandra Styer

Sandy Styer will be speaking on “Building Your Trusted Advisor Skills” at the Masa Israel Journey on Monday, March 28th in New York City.

 

Wed. Apr. 27th Fargo, ND Sandra Styer

Sandy Styer will be presenting “The Heart of Trust: Keys to Becoming a Trusted Advisor” at the Tristate Trust Conference of the North Dakota Bankers Association on April 27th.

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The first tranche of the Trusted Advisor Mastery Program is entering its final month. Members are taking stock. Here’s what one participant has to say:

“This course works because it is not based upon the newest fly-by-night pet theory, but upon rock solid principles of human nature and social psychology. The ability to engender trust is the one attribute that separates those who succeed both in business and in life. Take this course and you will be well on your way to success in both realms.” (Nils Victor Montan, Of Counsel, Dannemann Siemsen Bigler & Ipanema Moreira, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Stewart Hirsch, head of Trust-based Coaching, will do a live online walk-through of the program on February 28th at 2PM US-EST. If you would like more information or an invitation to the walk-through please email us at: mastery@trustedadvisor.com.

Radio Interview with Charles H. Green: Trust and Business

Monday night I was the guest on an hour-long radio show on PBS Station KCBX, in San Luis Obispo, California. The program is Trust in America, hosted by program director Guy Rathbun, with guest host Charles Feltman, of Insight Coaching

This was part two of a three-part program; part 1 was trust in government; part 3 will be Trust in Media. I was the guest for the segment on Trust in Business.

The interview was one of the better I’ve been invited to. Host Feltman teed up issues like:

·    the difference between trust, trusting and being trustworthy (3:00);

·    trust in corporations, vs. trust in business (5:30);

·    should we distrust corporations (11:30);

·    how you can build a more trustworthy organization (14:30)

·    the root of mistrust in business (20:00);

·    what influences citizens have over businesses (32:00);

·    economics of trust, trust and timeframe (38:30);

·    systemic effects of shift from relationships to transactions (43:00);

·    customer relationships and trust (52:30).

The show was broadcast live, and we had 3-4 callers contributing to the show.

If you like audio files; if you’d like to hear me instead of just read me; or if you want to hear a good discusison about trust–then listen to the mp3 file of this interview.