🎶 Furr, by Blitzen Trapper
Watching Tom manage, it seemed to me that he applied a simple three-step algorithm to every problem: 1. Who owns the problem? 2. Do I trust them? 3. How do I find an owner I trust? If you can’t find an owner, that’s the problem right there. Skip to step 3.Dave Hitz, How to Castrate a Bull*
When I sat down to write this week’s Good Work, I stumbled on a note I’d taken of something executive coach Khalid Halim told me in July of 2016: “Trust is made up of three things: sincerity, reliability, and competence. And trust crumbles at anything less than having all three.”
Over the next year, as we founded Holloway, Josh and I spoke about these three tenets of trust at length. They became the foundation for how we think about Holloway’s brand. It’s not enough to be competent explainers of gnarly professional challenges. Our readers need to be able to depend on what we produce and share, and they need to be able to feel the sincerity of our commitment to helping the internet grow up into a place that isn’t just word hucksters shilling for clicks.
When we feel like the people we work with are driving us nuts, cracked and crumbling trust tends to be the culprit. Whether we’re blaming others, blaming ourselves (yes, mistrust works that way, too), or plain frustrated because we don’t understand what we’re frustrated at, it can help to step back and ask ourselves whether we’re dealing with a sincerity, reliability, or competence issue.
The last thing I’ll add is that trust should not be treated as a binary undertaking. If you force yourself to choose between 100% trust and 0% trust, you’re likely to find yourself living in a terrifying interpersonal dark forest. A much more pleasant approach to trust is Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke’s “trust battery,” allowing you to to think of trust as a spectrum of charge and discharge.
- While the neuroscience part of this piece is interesting, I particularly like the eight management behaviors to inspire trust recommended in “The Neuroscience of Trust” by Paul J. Zak of Harvard Business Review.
- First Round Review always delivers, and “This Is How You Get People to Trust Your Product” is no exception. I loved this quote by Lynn Perkins, CEO of Urban Sitter, “A big part of trust is believing that a company has your best interest at heart even though you’re a paying customer.”
- “When employees don’t feel empowered or trusted to make choices, innovation is one of the first casualties.” This line from “Autonomy, Ownership, And Trust—Keys To Entrepreneurial Success,” by Michael Gladstone of Atlas Venture, has stuck with me.
- Often, when people feel trust is broken, they give up. But there is another way. “Philosopher Martha Nussbaum on Anger, Forgiveness, the Emotional Machinery of Trust, and the Only Fruitful Response to Betrayal in Intimate Relationships,” by Maria Popova of Brain Pickings, is about the alternate path: rebuilding.
That’s Good Work for this week. Looking forward to what’s next.
Andy and the Holloway team
P.S. We published a new (and free) excerpt of The Holloway Guide to Raising Venture Capital this week, Networking for Startup Founders. Check it out!