The Importance of Trust

As an instructor and trainer, I am constantly reinforcing the importance of living by one’s word.

Integrity, Honor, Loyalty – all of these fine characteristics are the building blocks upon which reputations are raised. It is of the utmost importance in any walk of life to “live by your word”, but in the security profession – especially where the protecting of life is concerned, it is everything.

I attended National Stadium last night and watched the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets. I was fortunate to have been invited to enjoy the game from the president’s box. During the pre-dinner networking, I ran into a business owner whom I had met a few years previously. He had been introduced to me at that time as his business involved him being around some area celebrity sporting stars.

Being interested in a chance to possibly offer executive protection services to these stars, I arranged to meet with this business owner to discuss how we might be able to assist one another. I remember it was during the winter and the roads were a little suspect in places as I drove the 25-30 miles to be closer to his location.

I arrived a little early, as is my custom and waited for him to arrive. It became clear after about an hour that he was experiencing some difficulty or had some other reason for being so late. I left a few voice mails and called it quits after around 90 minutes. He never returned any of my calls but when I reached him about a week later he admitted that something else had come up. Unfortunately, he did not think it worth his while to let me know this with a phone call.

So, here I am last night and this same person is introduced to me once again. Maybe he didn’t remember back three years ago because he started to tell me about some connection that he knew that may be a “good fit” for my company. His small talk fell on deaf ears. He had already lost all credibility with me and eventhough I have not thought about it once in the inetrvening years, as soon as I saw him it came back as clear as day.

In his book; “The Speed of Trust”, the author Stephen M.R. Covey sums it up best – “keeping commitments is based on the principles of integrity, performance, courage and humility. It is the perfect balance of character and competence. Particularly, it involves integrity (character) and your ability to do what you say you are going to do (competence).”