Book Review: The Decision to Trust

How LEADERS Create High-Trust Organizations

By Robert F. Hurley.

Reviewed by Kevin Price, Publisher and Editor in Chief, US Daily Review.

This newly released book is must reading for any organization that wants to exercise the highest ethical standards and wants to attract the highest quality of people.  A culture of trust does not happen by accident, but by design and is from the leadership down.  In Hurley’s new book, the author brakes down the five key practices that are necessary in creating a culture of trust:

  1. Align your interests with those whose trust you want. Simply put, high trust leaders try to move their enterprise together by encapsulating stakeholders’ interests not pitting stakeholders against one another.
  2. Demonstrate benevolent concern.  We tend to trust people who we believe will care about our welfare — they demonstrate a benevolent character.
  3. Develop and demonstrate capability in the matter at hand.  We are only trustworthy if we can deliver on our commitments. Good intentions, benevolence, and even ethical conduct cannot replace doing what we say we will do.
  4. Create a track record of predictability and integrity.  High trust leaders tend to practice values based leadership, which creates consistency and coherence in their behavior. Trust comes from always striving to honor one’s word. The person you are and the people you surround yourself with, need to project such a commitment.
  5. Communicate, communicate, communicate and do it clearly and openly. This is crucial. If you perform poorly in this area, change it.  If you associate with people like this, reconsider whom you do business with.
The book explains why certain business ideas work or do not work:
  • How Zappos did a masterful job of managing trust when it rid itself of venture investors who did not share its values and merged with Amazon so it could align the interests of investors, customers and employees in creating long-term value.
  • How Google uses company meetings, annual surveys, and employee blogs to ensure that there are opportunities to catch violations of its standards.
  • Why the Chrysler Daimler-Benz merger failed to build trust across cultural, hierarchical, and organizational boundaries.
  • How Bernie Madoff maintained his now famous fraud for years by masterfully exploiting each of Hurley’s seven situational factors and build trust.
The book is excellent and needed in a culture where “trust” and “honesty” are largely only used in advertising campaigns.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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