Have you thought much about the power of trust and the role it plays in your life? It’s not just about the trust we have (or don’t have) in others, but it also concerns the trust others have in us.

What does it mean when we say we can be trusted? Let’s be brutally honest with ourselves if only for a few moments. How trustworthy are you? In any situation, your influence is enormous if you are trusted. But if you are not trustworthy, it doesn't matter what your title is or how much authority you are supposed to have, your influence is virtually zero!

Bottom line… when you are trustworthy, it means that you are a person of your word who can be relied on every time. To do what? The right thing of course whatever the right thing may be. You build trust by sharing information that is timely, accurate, objective and complete. You build trust by keeping your word, doing what you say you will do, when you say you will do it. How can anyone be trusted who is mostly talk and no action?

Trust is fragile, too. It must be earned, and re-earned many times over. Even small omissions or errors can damage trust very quickly. If you are trustworthy, it says a lot about your character. It means you have integrity your values and your behavior are aligned, and you stand up for what you believe in.

If you make a mistake, you don't cover it up or try to make it look like someone else's fault, even if it's going to result in you looking bad. Also, when you make decisions, you make them after thoughtfully considering alternatives and consequences. When you are trusted, other people listen when you speak, ask for your advice and feel confident that you can be relied on. When you are worthy of that trust, you feel accountable to use your influence responsibly.

Think about it… Who do you trust, and why? Who has placed their trust in you? What do you do to justify that trust? What actions do you plan to take to reinforce the trust that you have earned and that others have placed on you?

As you ponder these questions remember that it’s not always what we do when big things are at stake and a lot of people are watching but what we do even when aren’t watching.

Albert Einstein said, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”