Outbehave Your Competition

Research from the Edelman Trust Barometer indicates that trust in both government and business organizations continues at historic low levels. Trends over past 50 + years show a consistent drop in trust by people across the globe.

A past Maritz Poll showed that:

Fewer than 11% of American employees strongly agree that their managers show consistency between their words and actions.

In addition, only seven percent of employees strongly agree that they trust senior leaders to look out for their best interests, and only seven percent of employees strongly agree they trust their co-workers.

Approximately one-fifth of respondents disagree that their company’s leader is completely honest and ethical, and one-quarter of respondents disagree that they trust management to make the right decisions in times of uncertainty.

The implications for business organizations with cultures of low-trust are profound:

Political games and interpersonal conflict will create barriers to trusted collaboration and breakthrough innovation. Bureaucracy within the business grows as reflected by too many rules and negotiations are in place. These rules and negotiations slow the ability of business to operate (planning, product development, sales are just some of the areas that slow down the ability to effectively and efficiently compete. Employees who are not trusted become disengaged and due the very minimum to keep their jobs and do not create added value for the business. Turnover becomes a large expense and the high-performers leave the business as they prefer to work for high-trust businesses.

In a competitive marketplace, business succeeds or fails based on its ability to win, grow, and retain customers. In Extreme Trust by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, they make the case that to sustain and grow a business today you need to proactively look out for your customer’s/client’s interests.

The Journey to Standard of Trust Leadership

From autocratic power structures to self-governing groups of high relationship capital trust. Standard of Trust leadership is not about command and control, but about shared purpose, performance, and relationship capital within you organization’s team and across your ecosystem of customers, partners, and suppliers. It is about outbehaving your competition with high trust. This high trust is accounted for by open standards of Relationship Capital or (RC).

Industry standards of Relationship Capital (RC) is earned in two ways:

  • Kept Commitment Feedback
  • Peer Appreciation

Social media platforms are not only changing the way we communicate and do business, they’re also changing our ability to influence and build relationship capital as leaders, sales professionals, employees, and customers/clients.

The social revolution across the Middle East over the past several years in was sparked by social media and smart phone due to how quickly messages can become viral and how much these viral messages can effect world perceptions. Social media has now given the average employee an elevated voice and more power then ever before to influence others. ISIL, the terrorist organization has taken advantage of this social power to recruit people to their perverted cause. Political leaders who fail to hear the voices screaming through social media do so at their own peril — as evidenced this by Libya, Egypt, Syria, and Yemen in the Middle East.

Social media provides tremendous opportunities to market to your customers, but also to earn their Relationship Capital (RC) and business. Be more open and transparent by sharing with them WHY you do what you do. Demonstrate to your customers, employees, and all your stakeholder why they are critical to your success. Reward them for their loyalty and commitment. Respond rapidly when you do not keep your commitments.


In the movie “The Graduate”, the character played by Dustin Hoffman, Benjamin Braddock, is asked about his future and a successful friend of the family takes him out by the pool to tell him the secret about something revolutionary he must consider: “plastics” is what he’s told with incredible seriousness.

Played out today, this movie probably would’ve been set in Silicon Valley and the executive family friend would likely have been a venture capitalist pulling young Braddock aside to confide in him using this term “RELATIONSHIP CAPITAL”. To sustain long-term distinction in our hyperconnected world, you and your business team have the opportunity to outcompete by outbehaving the competition.