Trust and Community (Community Trust)

When one trusts oneself, there is creative energy released for universal service. When you trust yourself to keep the commitments you make for yourself, you are more free to give in the world; in your community.

In the 21st Century, community has taken on a more inclusive meaning; our communities are no longer limited by geographical confines. In both my work and personal relationships, my community continues to grow beyond the region in which I reside. The tools of the day remind me that I get to choose who I consider part of my community. The connection that builds community is based on trust.

When self-trust is proven and present, one sees the world in a more positive and loving way. When we feel good about who we are, we are better equipped to offer ourselves in our communities. Grounded in the faith that I will be okay, I am freed to confidently give from the core of who I am.

Confidently committed to my brand of love – clarity of what it is I give in this world – I continue to build my community. Consistently living a brand – one by one – connects us one with another. As you know more of who you are, as you  trust who you are more and more, the world community is influenced to become better.

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Trust and Authenticity (Authentic Trust)

Reading Marlo Morgan’s Mutant Message Down Under spread yet another layer of shielding as I continue to pound-away at the grip of judgment. As Marlo told her walkabout story with the Real People, I was impressed by the beauty of these individual spirits; spirits free of debilitating judgment.

For me personally, it is becoming more and more clear that all trust begins internally in each one of us. Any trust we experience collectively exists only because individuals have first given trust from the confident core of who they are.

With this fresh layer of protection, I have committed to a new level of intention in the effort of breaking the grip of judgment in my own experience. The breaking is not that of being judged; it is freeing my own mind and heart from the need to judge.

As I am tasting the growing flavor of this freedom, it becomes clearer that trust is authenticated in me. When authentic trust flows from each of us one to another, we only then experience the dynamic flow of collective, creative trust.

Your confidence is in your authenticity. Embrace each experience for its lasting treasure and let the rest go. This is a sure practice for breaking free of limiting judgment on self and others.

Trust and Dialogue (Dialogic Trust)

While I wish I knew who taught it to me, I will be satisfied that I learned it: the habit of coming out from behind my desk and sitting with the individual needing to talk with me. It was amazing how much more real and meaningful conversations became without the barrier.

It is not just physical barriers, but the metaphorical desks and tables, that separate us from each other and from real conversation together. The biggest internal barrier to true dialogue is judgment. As we believe we already know what the other person is going to say, or where the conversation will go, we effectually end the conversation before it begins. This is a trust killer.

Dialogic trust begins in me as I put aside the judgments – small and large – that block hearing another human being. Removing judgment allows one to not only hear what is being said by another, it also presents one with the privilege of learning about, and understanding, the other person. When someone is listened to by you, when someone senses your effort to understand, he/she offers you their trust.

Without this mutual gift of trust, there is no dialogue. In his book, Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together, William Isaacs defines dialogue as a conversation with a center, not sides. As we drop the barriers to honest connection and meaning with one another, trust begins to flow in the conversation.

The true blessing of dialogic trust is in discovering where the flow takes us.

Trust and Creativity (Creative Trust)

After our first full day of working the 38th annual National Storytelling Festival, I did something completely unnecessary, and frankly stupid. I fired up my laptop to check my email for that Friday. Thanks to a particular operating system that is junk, the recurring problem with loading my user profile came home to roost.

It is hard  to react and create in the same space – a space without calmness and thinking.

This I proved as I reacted to the laptop issue by taking immediate action – action based on feelings. My not-so-nice feelings kept me up until 2:00 a.m. When I needed 6 hours of sleep (not 4) prior to the second 15 hour day at Festival. Only at the end of that second long day (when I wrote this) was I calm enough to think clearly, stop reacting, and choose a better action plan for this laptop on which I run the business I love.

Reaction induces action. Creativity conceives something from calm, confident thought. Reaction is the result of a not yet known chain of events. During my distracting  disgust with the computer’s operating system, I found no connection to calmness that is found in understanding. Creativity is conscious choice flowing from calm, confident thought.

We build trust in and through our individual  creativity. The trust that flows to others springs up in the trust we hold confidently for ourselves.

Trust and Innovation (Innovative Trust)

There is innovation; and there is trust. There is the freshness of thought in true innovation. There is the confidence of fearless trust. What do we have when innovation and trust join?

In this young 21st Century, we experience the impact of innovation vividly in our daily lives. Unfortunately for us, both individually and collectively, we do not consistently experience the impact of trust with the same regularity.

Innovation can be strangled when we are imprisoned in a perpetual reactive structure. True individual innovation is achieved only as one gets calm and thinks. The currency of relational trust is embezzled by the reactive behavior encouraged in the same strangling structure. Fearless trust is achieved by the same practice of calmness and thought.

The combination of calmness and thought is a gift to one’s self and a commitment to those led, influenced, and served. From this gift, and through this commitment, you are able to join innovation and trust for a transformational confidence.

So, what do you have when you allow innovation and trust to join?

To remain calm, collected and clear in the midst of collective anxiety is to be a leader. -Jeffrey A. Miller in The Anxious Organization

Trust and Commitment (Committed Trust)

If our solution to our anxiety involves getting someone else to change, it is doomed to failure. -Jeffrey A. Miller in The Anxious Organization: Why Smart Companies do Dumb Things

Since ancient times we have been admonished to be the change. There are those in our midst who clearly see any given problem and intelligently point out individual fault and what they think we should do to fix the problem. If you listen carefully to these censors, you will most likely never hear them say, “For my part, I will commit to …”

While still young in the realm of leadership, Bob gave me a gift; he pulled into consciousness an unconscious competence I possessed. Bob was my boss when I was in retail. The day of the gift, I had walked into Bob’s office and presented a problem and then fluidly outlined three possible solutions. After hearing the options, he asked me which one I preferred. I told him and he said, “Go do that one.” Thanking him, I got up to leave. As I was about to clear his doorway, he called me back and asked me to sit down. He asked, “Do you know why I asked you which action strategy you preferred?” I did not. He then said, “It’s because when you bring me a problem, you always have 3 solutions ready. You are the only manager I have who does this. So, I trust your thinking and your choice.”

For more than 25 years this experience has served me. I think it was when I first began to consciously embrace the meaning of personal accountability and the power of commitment; both of which had seemingly built trust with Bob.

Just before leaving Bob’s office for the second time that day, I noticed an adage properly framed and positioned on his credenza; “Are you part of the problem, or are you part of the solution?” Seeing that maxim displayed in his office let me know that he and I shared some values. While we disagreed on some operational issues, we seemed aligned with principles that produced good decisions in the operation.

Commitment and trust are companions on the journey to right action and impact. Letting go of the need to blame, and seeking opportunity to be the change, our behavior aligns with intent and we become effective – getting the right results, living our impact, and building trust along the way.

Trust and Motivation (Motivated Trust)

It was Saturday morning, and I took my portable office to one of my coffee shops. Placing my briefcase on a selected table, I looked up and there was Gregg, a new colleague. Gregg’s business is still very young and he has a lot of questions and a need for collegial conversation – we all do.

In what seemed a brief period, our conversation covered a vast territory of working as a solo act in the 21st Century. Actually, one of our mutual acknowledgements was that nothing is really a solo effort. We need each other; just like Gregg and I needed to talk to each other in that providential meeting – I normally do not go to that particular coffee shop on Saturday.

Talking with Gregg I was reminded of the difficult transition I went through becoming my own boss. My motivation – while always my responsibility – was now consciously in my hands. It was both exciting and terrifying in each breath. Here we are in the 21st Century and I believe most people are feeling those things I did and that Gregg is vividly experiencing. People are experiencing a conscious transition of responsibility whether working for self or in an organizaton.

Gregg is joining a collegial group I co-founded nine years ago. Joining with others to form this support group was about an instinctive need to trust; and to be trusted. At first I assumed this collegial effort must be about replacing the camaraderie lost in my separation from my corporate life. It was not.

We need each other. For our unique and authentic motivation to deliver in this world, we need the fiery stimulation of connection one to another. In trusting one, we are trusted by one … and then many.

As actors on this 21st Century stage, we may have producers and directors, but most important to our characterization is how we connect to the other players while applying our individual motivation.