The Consequence of Lost Trust
by: Byrd Baggett
Several years ago, I was having a discussion with one of my clients, interviewing him concerning the topics he wanted me to cover in an upcoming talk I was going to give to his sales team. He singled out integrity as one of the areas he wanted me to emphasize in my presentation. This client then went on to tell me about one of his peers, an executive in charge of another manufacturing division. This senior manager and two sales representatives were making a sales call on a long-term client. It was a relationship that had accounted for most of the division's sales volume. After that meeting was over, the executive noticed that one of their competitor's new product samples had been left behind for the client to evaluate. Thinking they were alone in the room, the executive placed the sample in his briefcase, closed it, and took the sample home to evaluate.
It turns out, however, that the executive and his two sales reps had not been alone in the room. One of the client's representatives had walked back into the room unnoticed and seen the executive swipe the sample. As a consequence of this lack of integrity, both sales representatives were ﬁred and the executive was barred for life from calling on this customer. Millions of dollars in business and a long-term relationship were lost because of one bad error in judgment! This sad but true story is the basis for another of my favorite quotes: "Trust, once lost, is almost impossible to regain."
As this story illustrates, integrity is the foundation for true success in both our personal and professional lives. A life fulﬁlled is wisdom lived, not knowledge learned. Your journey will not be easy, and your choices may not be popular, but your steadfast commitment to the purity of truth will separate you from the mass of mediocrity. Always search for the truth and never compromise, and the richest blessings of life will be yours.
True Growth Takeaway:
Trust takes months to earn but minutes to lose.
True Growth Journal Question:
Are you consistently trustworthy? If not, what behavior do you need to change to be so?
About the author: Byrd Baggett is a best-selling author and popular motivational speaker. He has been helping organizations develop authentic leaders and passionately engaged teams since 1990. His corporate experience includes sales and management careers with two Fortune 500 companies. He is a Member of LWM III Consulting LLC and creator of the True Growth® brand.