David Horsager; The Most Researched Expert on Trust

April 22, 2021

Episode 80


What is the best way to drive results in all areas of your life?

Do you struggle with your employees, clients, marketing or your net promoter score?

Maybe you’re struggling with your marriage, or your relationship with your kids?

There is a KEY CHALLENGE that you have and it's one simple word… TRUST.

The question to ask yourself is “how do you create trust in the most effective way?”

Mike has a very special guest today. He's a fellow Minnesotan from a small town, not too far from where Mike grew up. His name is David Horsager and he's the most research expert on trust, organizational trust and leadership in business.

He's also the author of many books, with his latest out now, called “Trusted Leader, Eight Pillars That Drive Results.” John C. Maxwell calls it “A pivotal guide for today's leader!

Research has proven that output, morale, retention, innovation, loyalty, and productivity increases when trust increases and that’s what today’s episode is all about. Building trust that drives the results you want so make sure to listen and watch us on YouTube.

David believes that lack of trust is the biggest expense of any organization.

Organizations think they have a leadership issue. They never do. (The only reason people follow a leader is trust.) They think they have a sales issue. They never do. (The only reason people buy is trust.)

The only way to amplify a marketing message is to increase trust in that message. The only way to deal with the diversity issues of our day is to increase trust. The only way to increase innovation and creativity in a team is to increase trust.

The root issue is always a trust issue.

So how do you build and create the maximum amount of trust with teams internally in the shortest time period that’s genuine and authentic? (when you've got that, you're going to get teamwork and more results which means happier clients and customers on the other side.)

The Eight Pillar Framework, from David’s new book, has been validated through research, as the way trust is built globally.

  1. Clarity: People trust the clear and they distrust the ambiguous or the overly complex. Most people, even in marketing, think they're clear when they're not.
  2. Compassion: People trust those that care beyond themselves. It's hard to follow or buy from someone that we don't feel cares beyond themselves. The most trusted person in the world is not Oprah or the Pope. It’s mom. People trust their mom’s because they care beyond themselves.
  3. Character: We trust those who do what's right, not what's easy. Many companies de-incentivize character when they should be doing the opposite.
  4. Competency: You might trust a good friend to take your kids to a ballgame because they have character and compassion, but you wouldn’t trust them to give you a root canal. If you're selling and leading the way you were 20 years ago, people won't trust you. You have to stay fresh and relevant.
  5. Commitment: We trust those that stay committed, even in the face of adversity. Think about anyone who's left a legacy. Mom, Dad, Mandela, Gandhi, Jesus or Joan of Arc, and you'll find someone that's trusted because of their commitment beyond themselves.
  6. Connection: This pillar is the willingness to connect and collaborate. In a lot of big companies or global governments, you’ll find counter forces of connection, siloing, or selfishness and that’s the opposite of what you want.
  7. Contribution: You need to contribute results and outcomes. You could be a compassionate, high character person, but if you don’t get results, no one is going to trust you.
  8. Consistency: The only way to build a reputation is consistency. The only way to build a brand is consistency. For good or bad. If you're late all the time, people will in fact trust you to be late.

David believes you can solve every leadership, organizational and marketing issue against these eight pillars. He’s done his research and tested it on six continents and found that most people are actually solving the wrong problems.

It’s never about engagement or communication. It’s ALWAYS about trust.

Wondering why David is so passionate about his work on trust? When his daughter was 13 years old, they were out for a walk, talking about life and she looked up at him and said, “Dad, you wouldn't understand, you're perfect.” That might sound sweet but he knew he had a big problem. He knew that she wouldn’t share her life with him if she thought he was perfect.

In reality when he started his first company, he had $1.42 to his name and was living in a basement apartment with black mold, no windows, bathroom or kitchen. He struggled and lost everything a few different times but his daughter didn't see those first 10 years of struggle.

When he finally found success with his first best selling book and started doing things like traveling in private jets, that’s what his daughter saw.

He started sharing all of the times he made mistakes with his daughter on their walks. The time he lost all of their money before she was born, the mistakes he made with his team, etc… and it changed their relationship forever.

The willingness to be transparent about your mistakes can be used in leadership but it can also be used at home. When parents try to act like they're perfect and were perfect as kids, what do their kids learn to do? They learn to hide stuff better.

David has been doing this research on trust for many years. (since his grad work days) If you go to his websites, www.TrustEdge.com, there's a research tab where you can read it all for yourself.

In his work, David has developed a 10 step process to rebuild trust. To find out more pick up a copy of his new book and don’t forget to Listen to and Watch this episode for the more details.

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