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BLIND TRUST OR DISTRUST: IDENTIFYING ONE’S GLASSES

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People view the world through two different types of glasses that various factors throughout their lives have helped to shape. Covey and Link identify these glasses as blind trust glasses or distrust glasses and offer a third alternative: smart trust glasses.

Looking through blind trust glasses creates a naïve, gullible, blissful trust in almost everyone and everything. These glasses are easy to wear because they do not require much effort or thought. People want things to go well, so they ignore the evidence. Unfortunately, blind trust glasses open the door for all manner of fraud and schemes. Blind trust is risky, and it typically does not represent the smartest way to operate in a low-trust world.

Glasses of distrust are often people’s choice after they get burned by a blind trust experience. In a low-trust world, glasses of distrust seem like a natural response. They can feel safer, less risky, and give the feeling of more control. While most people realize the cost of trusting too much, they do not stop to consider the cost of distrust. The authors call this a “wasted tax” that can result in unwanted outcomes like redundancy, bureaucracy, turnover, churn, and fraud.

Distrustful behavior often brings huge taxes. The authors relate the story of a business that sold sunglasses. To try and halt inventory shrinkage, which the owner figured was caused by customer or employee theft (or both), he instituted a tie-down system on every frame so that the glasses could not be pulled off the shelves. He reduced the shrinkage problem from two percent to 0.2 percent. Unfortunately, because customers could not try on the glasses, sales decreased by 50 percent. Distrust not only affects relationships with customers, it also affects prosperity, energy, and joy within and between companies.

Neither blind trust nor distrust is sustainable for a lengthy period. Those who trust blindly eventually get burned and those who live with distrust eventually experience financial, social, and emotional losses.

PRISM

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TRUST : Hard to build

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People perceive the world today as a very untrustworthy place. Statistics indicate that only 46 percent of survey respondents trust business to do what is right. Furthermore, only 20 percent of Americans trust the country’s financial system. The federal government’s inability to hammer out a deficit/debt solution, and the ongoing European Union debt crisis, has led to an historic lack of trust in government as well, leaving the world seemingly without trust.

The headlines and statistics leave no doubt that the world is in a trust crisis. Yet, paradoxically, trust is more important than ever. The bottom line is directly connected to trust. The 2009 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that more than three-quarters of informed respondents refuse to buy products or services from a company they distrust. Even more eye-opening, high-trust organizations outperform low-trust ones in total returns to shareholders (stock price plus dividends) by 286 percent. From 1998 to 2010, high-trust organizations outperformed the market by 288 percent. Trust has become the new currency of the global economy.

There is a direct connection between trust and prosperity because trust always affects two key inputs to prosperity: speed and cost. In low-trust situations, speed goes down and costs go up because of the many extra steps that suspicions generate in a relationship, whereas two parties that trust each other accomplish things much quicker and, consequently, cheaper. The authors call high trust a “performance multiplier.” High trust creates a dividend, while low trust creates a wasted tax.

However, trust affects more than just prosperity. It has a positive impact on creativity, health, emotions, and overall well-being. Trust dramatically improves employee engagement, leading to such benefits as increased innovation. Trust also improves joy, which has become more and more important to people. The authors point out that Denmark, the most trusted nation on earth, is also the happiest country in the world.

In the same way that trust quantitatively changes prosperity, it qualitatively affects energy and joy. Some examples of flourishing high trust companies are Wipro, a large IT company in India, and Zappos, the Internet shoe retailer. These are just two of thousands of teams and organizations fueling the renaissance of trust.

Trust has many facets, one of which is creating a climate that benefits all stakeholders not just shareholders. PepsiCo, where CEO Indra Nooyi started a movement for the company “to deliver sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet,” is one of the many examples of companies trying to improve the world just as much as the bottom line. The CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, another example of a business with an enlightened sense of corporate responsibility, Andrew Witty, says “If you don’t have the trust of the societies you serve, you don’t have a long-term sustainable business model.”

However, even as people come to realize the importance of trust, there may be reasons why they find it difficult to trust. It all has to do with which glasses they are wearing.

DREAM TO REALITY

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Maxwell describes six characteristics associated with people who experience fulfillment as they pursue their dreams:

* Fulfilled people understand the difference between a dream and its realization. The idealized image of a dream that everyone carries in their head is usually not achievable because it depends on everything being perfect. The ideal vision can be helpful for establishing goals and stimulating internal motivation, but it also needs to be tempered with reality.

* Fulfilled people understand that the size of a dream determines the size of the gap. Large dreams are potentially more fulfilling than smaller ones. However, large dreams also come with a big gap between birth and completion.

* Fulfilled people keep dreaming while making the journey. People must continue dreaming in order to maintain inspiration, motivation, and fulfillment.

* Fulfilled people appreciate each step forward in the journey. Most dreams are achieved slowly, and sometimes the results emerge in subdued ways. As a result, it is important to take joy in the journey and find fulfillment in the small steps along the way.

* Fulfilled people make new discoveries while living in the gap. People have the potential to make many great discoveries while pursuing their dreams. Often, the greatest discoveries are the ones people make about themselves while pursuing a dream.

* Fulfilled people buy into the natural law of balance: life is both good and bad. To reach a dream and to find fulfillment in the process, people must be proactive in both good times and bad. Even when individuals do not feel like working toward their dream, they must persevere anyway.

ACHIEVE DREAM WITH PEOPLE

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Dreams are not achieved alone. As Maxwell says, people must have a “dream team.” To properly answer the People Question, an individual needs to determine whether or not they have included all the people necessary to realize a dream. Walt Kallestad, CEO of The Joy Company, developed an acrostic list for “dream team” qualities. Good team members:Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.46.03 pm

* Dare to focus on the dreamer’s significance, not just his or her success.

* Respond to the dreamer’s ideas with respect, rather than disgust or contempt.

* Expect the best.

* Affirm the dreamer’s talents and abilities.

* Maximize learning and growth opportunities to improve both the dream and the dreamer.

* Take time to give honest feedback.

* Encourage the dreamer unconditionally to help him or her persevere.

* Accept only excellence, since mediocrity kills dreams.

* Make the most of the dreamer’s mistakes and failures.

Maxwell also identifies three additional qualities for dream team members. He seeks out people who inspire him, who are honest, and whose skills complement his. There are four steps that people can take to recruit and engage a dream team:

* To recruit the team, transfer the vision. Dream casting requires good communication skills and conviction in the significance of the dream.

* Transfer the dream logically. People do not buy into dreams if they do not believe in them. The first step in gaining credibility is to communicate a dream logically. This means that people must demonstrate an understanding of the dream that is at least as comprehensive as their audience. The second step is to offer a sound strategy for achieving the dream.

* Transfer the dream emotionally. People will only embrace a dream if the dreamer connects with them emotionally. This means describing the dream in a way that appeals to the audience’s interests, demonstrating how committed the dreamer is to the dream, and illustrating the benefits of attaining the dream.

* Transfer the dream visually. When dreamers do everything within their power to live their dreams, they become a living advertisement for the dream. This is compelling to others.

THE PATHWAY QUESTION

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To answer the Pathway Question affirmatively, people must have a strategy to reach their dream. When Maxwell wants to make progress toward a dream, he evaluates his current position, where he wants to go, and what steps he must take to get to his goal. He recommends three actions to execute a strategy and achieve a dream:

1. Do something. It is essential to get moving and try different things. Even if a person does not know exactly what to do to achieve a dream, it should not prevent them from doing something to get things started.

2. Do something today related to the dream. It is very easy to get bogged down in daily tasks. People who are serious about achieving their dreams find something each day that will bring them closer to their dreams.

3. Do something every day to advance the dream. The secret to success is focused persistence. Doing the right things day after day will result in inevitable progress toward a dream.

In addition to this advice, Maxwell offers four more tips for developing a pathway toward a dream:

* Be flexible. Once a strategy has been developed, it is important to remain flexible. While a dream may remain the same over time, other things may change like timelines, resources, plans, and team members. A rigid mindset can prevent people from achieving their dreams.

* Remove the nonessentials. It is always necessary to give up some things to achieve a dream. Removing nonessentials from a daily routine is a good idea. Often, people are unable to reach their dreams because they try to carry too many things along on their journey.

* Embrace all the challenges. Everyone encounters challenges on the route to a dream. It is best to prepare and face them head on. Failures should be embraced and analyzed. This prevents people from making the same mistake twice.

* Use the SECURE acronym to help with planning. State all positions, Examine all actions, Consider all options, Utilize available resources, Remove all the nonessentials, and Embrace all challenges.

Passion for your Dream

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The Passion Question requires people to answer whether their dream is compelling enough to follow it through to its realization. Passion is a unique aspect of dreams. It is not all that is needed to achieve a dream, yet if a person does not have enough passion he or she may not have sufficient energy and motivation to achieve a dream in the end. The path to a dream usually includes detours and obstacles. Passion ensures that people to keep their dreams alive and overcome adversity. It also enables individuals to move outside their comfort zone to advance their dreams. Passion sets people up to succeed.

Maxwell offers four ways that individuals can generate more passion for their dreams:

1. Acknowledge natural temperament. Not everyone is highly passionate. Understanding and accepting personality traits can be helpful as people assess the passion they have for their dreams.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 6.02.40 pm2. Keep focused on what is important. It is easier to remain passionate about a dream if an individual remembers what is important and why the dream seemed compelling in the first place.

3. Overcome the fear of being different from others. It is not possible to achieve a dream and still be part of the crowd. To live an extraordinary life, it is necessary to follow passion and not worry about others’ opinions.

4. Resist the apathy that comes with aging. Although children are passionate by nature, most people lose their passion for life as they get older. It is important not to become apathetic, no matter what difficulties have arisen in life

DREAM BIG

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Maxwell suggests that the first vital step to fulfilling a dream is to take firm ownership of it. In his experience, he has found that there are three common reasons why people do not pursue their dreams:

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 7.04.24 pm1. Dreams do not come true for ordinary people. Although it is a widespread belief that dreams are only for special people, the author is convinced that everyone can pursue a dream. A dream can serve as a catalyst for making important life changes, no matter how big or small those changes.

2. If a dream is not big, it is not worth pursuing. The size of a dream does not determine its worth. While a dream does not have to be big, it should be bigger than the dreamer.

3. Now is not the right time to pursue the dream. Some feel it is never the right time to pursue a dream, and instead wait for permission from someone else. In fact, only the dreamer can grant permission to follow a dream. Alternatively, people think it is too late to pursue a dream and they give up.

Rather than falling victim to these pitfalls, Maxwell offers five tips for taking ownership of a dream:

  1. Individuals must be willing to bet on themselves. Owning a dream requires people to believe in themselves in a way that outweighs their fears.
  2. It is necessary to lead one’s life, rather than just accepting it. Attaining true personal potential means taking responsibility, and taking an active leadership role in life.
  3. People who own their dreams love what they do and do what they love. Individuals who take ownership of their dreams allow their passion and talent to guide them.
  4. It is not productive to compare a personal dream to others. When people focus too much attention on others, they lose sight of their dreams and what they need to attain it.
  5. Even if others do not understand, it is important to believe in a vision. Dreams often seem outrageous to others. To pursue a dream it is necessary to go beyond limitations, whether they are imposed from within or by others.

Fear-Based Leadership

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Successful leaders who practice fear-based leadership are common, according to Bryant.

Henry Ford’s employees lived in fear of losing their jobs and knew they had been fired when they arrived for work to an empty office or destroyed furniture. The dotcom stock market crash of the 2000s took down the greedy and fear-based leadership of once-invincible companies like Enron and WorldCom. Today, “Boss-Zillas” who use fear to intimidate their employees are not alone; a large survey concluded that 37 percent of American workers report being bullied at work. A 2000 survey reported persistent psychological abuse at work. Bosses are viewed as the main problem.

Fear based leadership shares the following tactics:

  • Using aggressive language and eye contact
  • Criticizing unfairly
  • Blaming without offering reasonable recourse
  • Applying rules inconsistently
  • Stealing credit
  • Making unreasonable demands
  • Issuing threats, insults, and accusations
  • Denying accomplishments
  • Excluding others from opportunities
  • Assigning pointless tasks
  • Personalizing problems
  • Breaching confidentiality
  • Spreading rumors

Great Leaders from Loss

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Many of the world’s great leaders have gained their wisdom and strength by experiencing personal loss. Bryant describes his favorite leaders, those who have weathered the storm and succeeded.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s perseverance through crippling polio led him to a four-term presidency. He steered America through the toughest times of economic depression and fascism.

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) founder Candice Lightner founded her life-saving cause after the loss of her teenage daughter to a drunk driver.

As a student leader during the South African apartheid regime, Leslie Maasdorp spent 13 months in jail. He managed to earn his degree and later lead post-apartheid South Africa in restructuring and privatizing state-owned enterprises.

Brazilian Rodrigo Hubner Mendes founded the Rodrigo Mendes Institute, a visual arts school dedicated to helping low-income minorities and people with disabilities. Mendes’ own loss of mobility after being shot drove his passion to help others.

Former President Bill Clinton’s well-publicized personal and political setbacks made him a strong and extraordinary global humanitarian leader post-presidency.

Dr. Martin Luther King never gave up, even when threatened personally. “Once you cope with that fear of death, you don’t have to fear nothing else.” He gave his “I Have a Dream” speech 100 times before the historical march on Washington, D.C.

INDIRECT, EMOTIONS, AND TEARS

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When Bennington surveyed over 700 executive women, over half said they would not choose a boss based on gender. But of the 44 percent who reported a preference, 32 percent said that they would rather work for a man. Their three top reasons were:

Share1. Men are more direct. Survey respondents were especially critical of female bosses who avoid uncomfortable conversations, take everything personally, are poor delegators, or are easily distracted.

2. Men are less competitive. This does not mean that men are less ambitious than women, but that men treat competition as routine while women are likely to see it as unfair or unjust.

3. Women are too emotional. The propensity of many women to cry under stress is not a sign that they are irrational or unstable. It reflects a physiological reality: Women have six times as much prolactin, a hormone associated with tear production, as men. Additionally, women’s tear ducts are twice as large as men’s.

By being aware of these issues, women can start to effectively address them. In particular, they can work on communicating clearly, openly, and directly, stop viewing others’ success as a threat, and be prepared for emotional reactions. These simple strategies will allow women’s leadership strengths to outshine their supposed — often exaggerated — weaknesses.