Elements of Trust
Wednesday 13 March 2019
Article by David Harvie
Trust is hard earned and easily lost.
We grew up in small country town, where it took some time to earn that trust. A town of one school, two banks and of course two pubs and numerous sporting grounds.
The local Police Sergeant, The Headmaster, and the Bank Manager - all people of trust.
I'm proud to say my Father was in that cohort. A man you will never meet these days - the bank manager in a small country town. After school, I would run to the bank, sit up on the stool on the counter and well...remember money? Passbooks? Ledger books? Tellers? I loved it all.
But most of all, I'm still in admiration of the trusted relationships my Father built.
Clients coming in for a loan and walking out with salient advice. Multi-generational farmers, turning to the bank manager not just for credit, but a way forward for the next generation. Local sporting, social and community clubs, all working together with local business to create a vibrant town.
This was all built on trust.
I am heartened to recently hear Marnie Baker of Bendigo Bank at an AmCham function espousing the elements of trust, being kindness, integrity, consistency and ability to demonstrate behaviour consistent with same.
There is an opportunity for leaders of all organisations to consistently be their authentic selves, and to understand the inexorable link between purpose and profit.
This investment in human and social capital will yield returns to the bottom line of course - transcending that, the empowerment of clients, staff, their families and the communities in which they live, will deliver yields beyond the financial metrics.
Now, innovation brings us closer to our clients, our friends and our family. But does it provide intimacy? Is there an impenetrable barrier being created as we cocoon ourselves in our digital morass? Are we now apoplectic in action and immune to information or claims of trust given the sheer volume of same?
"Vote for me" just doesn't cut it any more.
There is hope.
As leaders, our authenticity, vulnerability and reflection can guide us to the core elements of trust. Benevolence, integrity, ability and reliability.
As we become closer to our customers, clients and communities via innovation and digital, we must never lose sight of the fundamentals of human nature. To belong and to be heard. To be seen and to be appreciated. To trust and be trusted.
This is the privilege that we are all bestowed with as leaders and one that I simply wish to emulate, of the man that was ahead of his time, the bank manager in that small country town.