Myth #2: “Everybody wants to TRUST and be TRUSTED”

By Steve Caldwell PhD. | Blog

Apr 30
Steve Caldwell PhD,seeing is believing

I always start my lectures on TRUST by asking this question, “If everybody wants to trust and be trusted more by others, why then do we have so little of it?” I then get a lot of blank stares from students, wondering, “Is this a trick question?”

No. It’s not a trick question but it certainly is a fascinating one and it speaks volumes about the issues we have with TRUST. The answer is in the oft misunderstood notion of what trust really is.

The word is typically used loosely to just mean ‘believe strongly’ in something”. For example, “I trust you can do this for me.” But TRUST is much more than just a strong belief. For me to trust you, I must believe that you will not act in your own best interest at the expense of mine.

Trust is “willful vulnerability.”

Trust is intimacy (“into-me-see”). It is choosing to give someone else some form of control over you because you believe in their character. It allows you to exchange information more freely and efficiently – like unclogging an artery makes you healthier.

See now why we have so little TRUST? It is the opposite of control and many people value control more. From an early age, many of us were taught to avoid making ourselves vulnerable to anyone and that gaining as much control as possible will help us “win. BUT, effective leadership requires willful followers.

The main role of trust is to reduce risks. It’s why someone will abandon the status quo for you. Trust reduces uncertainty. Innovation in the CPG industry involves change. This makes TRUST among all players up and down the supply chain one of the most important requirements for innovation. Many people think innovation is “only” about inventing some new product.

NOT so.

This is the next myth to be busted.

Stay tuned!

You can get more Double Bottom Line insights from Dr Caldwell’s book ‘Winning in a Hostile Environment’ available through or you can have him personally come share these insights with your team. He can be reached at or 864-907-2052


About the Author

Steve Caldwell, author of "Winning in a Hostile Environment: The Double Bottom Line Mandate" holds a PhD in management of human behavior from Georgia Institute of Technology. He has taught courses at the undergraduate and MBA level in subjects such as Business Strategy, Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, Principles of Management, and Consumer Behavior. Prior to obtaining his doctorate in management, Dr Caldwell spent 28 years in the business world, sixteen as an executive in the Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola bottling networks. Dr Caldwell has provided professional coaching and management consulting services in a variety of organizations in the US and abroad. He was Founding President of Data Ventures, LLC, a data mining company providing advanced analytics to the consumer products industry. Dr Caldwell has extensive experience implementing strategic change in organizations and is well published on research topics of change in behavioral journals such as Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Change Management, and Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. Dr Caldwell is currently CEO of DBL Insights LLC providing business consulting and coaching services to business professionals on topics associated with principles of successful living.