The 10 Laws of Trust

Building the Bonds That Make a Business Great

The 10 Laws of Trust

Author: Joel Peterson
Pub Date: May 2016
Print Edition: $15.95
Print ISBN: 9780814437452
Page Count: 128
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814437469

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Four Principles for Creating a Climate Where Trust Can Thrive

Trash-talking might make great reality TV or, in this wild election year, political drama. In a business climate, however, put-downs and brush-offs can be toxic. Too many bright, driven leaders—whether neighborhood merchants, corporate managers, or presidential contenders—trip up by simply failing to be respectful.

“Respect is the currency of trust, the way it’s exchanged among people,” states JetBlue Chairman Joel Peterson. “The trust that grows out of respect depends more on the value placed on individuals than on management techniques or policy statements.” In his new book, THE 10 LAWS OF TRUST (AMACOM; May 2016), Peterson shares four pillars for creating an atmosphere of respect, in which trust can thrive:

1. Respect is a high-yield investment. As an organization’s reputation for respecting everyone grows, so do its trust levels. More trust means less internal politics and fewer self-serving agendas—and without those drags on trust, people are more productive, more satisfied, and more likely to come up with new ideas.

2. Positive always beats negative. “Honoring those who aren’t present is an ideal way to show respect for those who are,” Peterson states. People-bashing, even when directed at unscrupulous competitors, breeds mistrust. Problem employees deserve respect too. Firing people can be approached as a process of helping those who will do better elsewhere to move on in a dignified manner.

3. Showing respect isn’t the same as being nice. Real respect is demonstrated by listening to people’s concerns, giving them honest feedback, and empowering them to do their best. Disagreeing with someone isn’t the same as disrespecting them either. Respectful dissent can produce outstanding strategies and products, as long as everyone agrees to work together after a decision has been made.

4. Tolerating disrespect allows it to spread. Nipping disrespectful practices in the bud takes constant vigilance and zero tolerance for not only backbiting and belittling, but also for letting problems fester and employees flounder. There’s no excuse for ignoring disrespectful attitudes about race, gender, age, or ethnicity. “But most insidious,” Peterson contends, “are the expressions of disrespect that come from failing to post jobs, to interview internal candidates, or to give people warnings and training.”

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