Orrin Woodward LIFE Leadership Team

Winner of the 2011 Independent Association of Business Top Leader Award; Orrin Woodward shares his leadership secrets.

Stephen M. R. Covey – Speed of Trust

Posted by Orrin Woodward on September 17, 2008

Here is a phenomenal article by Stephen M. R. Covey.  His book Speed of Trust is a must read for any aspiring leader.  Trust allows organizations to decide and implement faster.  The Team is only as good as the Speed of Trust in the entire organization.  Are you building trust or creating mistrust in your team?  Read the book and implement the principles to build trust and leaders in your business.  Enjoy the article.  God Bless, Orrin Woodward


Extend a Little Trust


Have you ever been in a situation where someone believed in you and trusted you when no one else did? How did it make you feel? What kind of difference did it make in your life?


I was in a situation like that shortly after I graduated from college. I was hired to work for Trammell Crow Company-at the time, the nation’s largest real-estate developer and one of the original “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America.


It was an unusual situation because typically a partner in a specific regional office would make the hire. However, in this case, I’d had a luncheon meeting with the managing partner of the company, and he had offered me a job as a leasing agent on the spot. He didn’t know which office I’d work in, but was confident there would be a good fit somewhere.


I accepted the offer, and then visited some regional offices to interview with the partners there. But in office after office, none of the partners seemed very interested in me. While I had done well in school and had had some excellent work experience, I’d indicated on my resume that my intent was to work for a couple of years and then go get my MBA. But the position I’d been hired to fill was the same position being offered to MBA graduates from the top schools. And they were being placed on a three-to-five-year fast-track path toward partnership. No one wanted to invest in training me only to have me work for two years and then leave.


In addition, I had written on my resume that my career objective was to go into management consulting and leadership development, which didn’t impress these Trammell Crow partners, who were into real-estate development. So my resume and career plans essentially created a huge disconnect with everyone. At the time, I was so naive that I could barely see the problem, but I didn’t feel that I could be untruthful about my intentions and simply say what people wanted to hear.


So for six weeks, I was in limbo, just working out of the corporate office but really doing nothing. After I had met with a dozen or so different partners, it became apparent that no one wanted to hire me, and I’m sure the managing director was wondering why he had. I was getting very discouraged. In fact, my confidence was at an all-time low.


Then I met with a new partner-John Walsh-who seemed excited to take a chance on me. He said, “I like this man. I believe in him. I want him on my team.” He took me under his wing, and from the very first, he treated me exactly like he treated the MBAs and law school graduates he had also hired. I felt enormously grateful, motivated, and inspired. I did not want to let him down.


It was six months before I had any results. During that time, I often doubted myself. But John Walsh kept believing in me. Then, all of a sudden, things took off, and before my two years were up, I had become the top-producing leasing agent in the office and one of the top producers in the country.


John Walsh’s faith in me paid off-not only for him in terms of company profits, but also for me in the way in which it shaped my leadership and my life. When I think of this man today, it is with great love and gratitude. Aside from my father, John Walsh has been the single biggest influence in my professional life (and also a profound influence in my personal life) because he believed in me and took a chance on me when no one else did. His extension of trust brought out the best in me.


I bring you the gift of these four words: I believe in you.

—Blaise Pascal, French physicist and mathematician

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