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For your knowledge advantage, we put together the most actionable insights from 3 getAbstract summaries (3 books with a total of 960 pages) on this topic. If you did this work yourself, you would be busy for at least 1149 minutes (about 20 hours). Learn more.

1. Trust: Why?

If you can’t rely on anything, you get nothing done.

Trust is the basis of every successful collaboration, at the desk, in high-stakes sales talks and in everyday interaction. Always and everywhere, a test of trust takes place before we tackle something together with others, before a product or service is purchased, or before one hires a new employee.

Stephen M. Covey, the guru on trust for decades, calls it the new hard currency in working life. After all, if you can’t rely on anything, you get nothing done. In times of hybrid work, this is more true than ever.

Most people consider competencies in trust to be innate or learned early on. For example, children learn to distinguish between the familiar and the unfamiliar in their very first weeks and months because, without this instinct, small and helpless, they would hardly survive their childhood years. Nevertheless, it is true: You can learn to trust at any age. It’s not easy for everyone, but it’s worth it – and it makes life easier, bit by bit.

Leaders, in particular, must have a sense of it because their ability to trust determines the weal and woe of their success.

Image of: Trust & Inspire
Book Summary

Trust & Inspire

Replace command and control with “Trust & Inspire” – a leadership philosophy with purpose.

Stephen M.R. Covey Simon & Schuster
Read Summary

No one can know everything on their own, and no one can manage everything on their own. Those who pretend they can do not have “healthy self-confidence” but a psychological problem. Moreover, to delegate work (I’ll deal with this separately in a couple of days), a central task of good leadership in a specialized economy, one must receive and communicate the information necessary for decisions and consider the next steps. Where trust does not exist, leaders suffer from filter bubbles.

Image of: Why Trust Matters
Book Summary

Why Trust Matters

Looking at economic issues from the perspective of trust is surprisingly revealing.

Benjamin Ho Columbia University Press
Read Summary

To a certain extent, dictators who surround themselves more and more with advisors who only tell them what they want to hear share the same fate. First, they find themselves in a hand-crafted echo chamber and thus lose contact with reality. Second, they lose the capability to make informed decisions. In the end, they lose everything. Always.

Image of: Trust Factor
Book Summary

Trust Factor

Paul J. Zak explains how to build a high-performance business based on soft management and hard science.

Paul J. Zak HarperCollins Leadership
Read Summary

Leaders who are untrustworthy and unable to trust others cannot receive all necessary information and therefore have no basis for properly weighing conditions. In short: Such a person is not suitable for leadership tasks.

Three rules:

  • Trust is the foundation of successful human interactions.
  • Trust in yourself and others makes you and your environment more resilient.
  • A culture of trust starts with the leader as a role model.

Read chapter two of my series on trust here.
Find all columns here.

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3 We read and summarized 3 books with 960 pages for this article.
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