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My name is Suzanne Conant and we are a military family and have lived around the world!  I work from home and my husband is a Chief Warrant Officer 4 in the U.S Army and this summer of 2010 will have 23 years of active duty service.  We have two teenage boys and we homeschool.  In September of 2008 I found our team and I truly can’t put into words how wonderful it is to actually make an income while still being at home everyday with my kids! One of my favorite things about our team is that our everyday mission is to help others have the same freedom we do!  There is hope out there for you with whatever you’re trying to accomplish and we are here to help you reach your goals!  I'm looking forward to talking to you soon.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Trust Edge: What Top Leaders Have & 8 Pillars to Build It

Thanks to Carol Cruzen for sending this to our team!

By David Horsager, The Trust Edge, Minneapolis: Leaf River Publishing, 2009

Horsager provides practical insights and many well researched stories and examples in The Trust Edge to encourage both individuals and organizations to increase their impact and success by becoming more trusted. Through clear and engaging writing and storytelling Horsager shows that as trust increases within an organization so does morale, retention, productivity, innovation, and loyalty.
The Trust Edge is composed of five sections: the case for trust, the eight pillars of trust, transforming trust, deep trust in a flat world, and courageous trust. In the second section, Horsager describes the foundational elements of trust in terms of eight pillars:

Pillar One: Clarity - "For the trusted leader, clarity starts with honesty" (p. 47). According to Horsager, there are three important but distinct components of clarity: vision and purpose, expectations and communication, and daily tasks.

Pillar Two: Compassion - To help leaders show that they care about people around them, four actions fitting the acronym "LAWS" (listen, appreciate, wake up, and serve others) are described with several practical suggestions for each action.

Pillar Three: Character - The concept of character is explored through two aspects: integrity and morality. Horsager encourages developing accountability in order to foster integrity.

Pillar Four: Competency - As competency drives trust, successful leaders humbly assume the role of learners and grow through mentoring relationships.

Pillar Five: Commitment - "Passion is the essential ingredient for commitment" (p. 157), and commitment requires leaders to sacrifice and take responsibility.

Pillar Six: Connection - Horsager emphasizes that connection is fostered through finding common ground through conversation and asking good questions. Developing magnetic and transparent qualities also goes a long way to building connection in contrast to complaining and gossip.

Pillar Seven: Contribution - "You must deliver results to be trusted" (p. 216). In order to consistently increase effectiveness in the workplace, Horsager describes ten practical strategies that range from email efficiency to decision making and planning meaningful meetings.

Pillar Eight: Consistency - If consistency is lacking, the other pillars that build trust will not stand.

The third section on transforming trust deals with two chapters that focus on extending trust to others and rebuilding trust after it has been broken. In the fourth section of deep trust in a flat world, Horsager discusses cross-cultural interaction and points out that when diversity increases, leaders need to work extra hard to build trust since research shows that diversity tends to undermine trust. In the chapter, Trust in the Online Age, fifteen helpful suggestions are given to develop a trusted online presence.
The Trust Edge is written in an engaging and motivating style with explanatory figures and pertinent quotations along with many short stories and illustrations based on Horsager's broad experience and thorough research. Each chapter includes a page of highlights that make it easy for a reader to identify or revisit the main points. Four to eight reflection or discussion questions are also provided at the end of each chapter giving an opportunity to internalize and apply key principles and insights. The book's extensive reference and index sections make it a significant resource for further in-depth studies of trust and leadership.
I would recommend this book as a practical guide for personnel to improve the working environment and impact we have with our coworkers and partner organizations as well as our personal and family lives. It was a challenge to me and a stimulus to grow as I thought about how to apply the principles presented in The Trust Edge.
For a copy of The Trust Edge, or information about further training, resources, and the Trust Edge Coaching program, visit: www.TheTrustEdge.com.

Reviewed by Jason Parks

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