The Power of Trust

My experience with the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey holds some valuable lessons on how to get and maintain trust.

Sooner or later every executive realizes that 99 percent of the people she depends on for success don't report to her. The success of every CEO depends far more on vendors, stockholders, board members, regulators, politicians, strategic partners, the financial community, the media, and customers than it does on the relatively small number of paid employees that report to her either directly or indirectly. Leadership relies on persuasion and persuasion relies on trust. As another example, few people realize that the all-important corporate profit-and-loss statement (P&L) contains no cash or real money. It consists primarily of accounts receivable and accounts payable, which in turn are merely the promises that others make to pay us and the promises we make to pay others at some future date. Without the trust that underlies these promises commerce would grind to a halt.

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