Do you know what’s the most precious resource in the 21st century?

It’s something right in front of our noses. 

We feel its urgency calling to us from the troubling news headlines, from satirical Saturday Night Live episodes, and from a collective heavy heart that many of us are carrying right now. 

We wonder about it almost constantly. The need for this resource rises up before us, like a long-forgotten friend. It’s a yearning that tugs at the corners of our days.  I find it in short supply when I talk to new prospects on the phone.  

The word is simply:  TRUST. 

The need for trust is greater than ever.


How can anything be built without trust?

It starts within each of us – with a commitment to do our personal best in affirming and building trust among our relationships. 

I know it’s not always easy.  But everyday we touch the lives of different people.  Our attitude and actions make a difference. How do we choose to act towards others?  What words do we choose?  While we can’t necessarily change their behavior, we can certainly be aware of our own tone and behavior.

As the Dalai Lama said, We must all live harmoniously with our neighbors.  Your happiness depends upon it.”

I recently pulled a book from my shelves that had sat dormant for several years.  It’s “The Trust Edge,” by David Horsager, a book I received in 2009 and just started reading it again.  It’s definitely a “must-read” book for our world, and I feel it has something valuable to offer everyone.

Horsager offers an indepth and revealing study into how to build the foundation of genuine success on trust.  He demonstrates that trust is quantifiable, and he then teaches readers how build the “Eight Pillars of Trust.”

The book uses a conversational voice, with plenty of examples, a recap of highlights at the end of each chapter, and questions to contemplate.  I’d like to share some of Horsager’s wisdom with you.

Most people seldom talk about trust as a competency to learn and practice.” 

But you can learn to build trust!  


Based on extensive research, Horsager discovered the common elements of the most trusted leaders and organizations. “Everything of value is built on trust,” he said, “from financial systems to relationships.” (In contrast, we’re now seeing the impact of a lack of trust in a major scale.)

What are the benefits of having the “trust edge?’

* Expanded influence * Increased morale * Greater productivity * Increased commitment * And greater results. 

People also find more peace and freedom at home, and teachers experience more respect, impact and classroom control.  Wouldn’t that be worth working for?  So, how do we begin to reach that level of trust?

The key is – we must take responsibility for ourselves. 


“While trust may appear to be static, trust is more like a forest – a long time growing, but easily burned down with a touch of carelessness.” 

Trust CAN be tangible and measured!

As Horsager mentions, trust is a natural result of “thousands of tiny actions, words, thoughts and intentions.”  It’s someting we all need to work on.

Think about the time when you promised someone you’d call them… were you able to keep your word?  There are so many things we all can be aware of to improve our own integrity.

Here are the Eight Pillars Of Trust….for “better relationships, reputations, retention, revenue and results.”


  1. CLARITY:  “People trust the clear and mistrust the ambiguous.”
  2. COMPASSION: “People put faith in those who care beyond themselves.”
  3. CHARACTER: “People notice those who do what is right over what is easy.”
  4. COMPETENCY: “People have confidence in those who stay fresh, relevant and capable.”
  5. COMMITMENT: “People believe in those who stand through adversity.”
  6. CONNECTION: “People want to follow, buy from and be around friends.”
  7. CONTRIBUTION: “People immediately respond to results.
  8. CONSISTENCY: “People love to see the little things done consistently.”


 Ultimately your courage in taking action and becoming trustworthy will lead others to follow in your footsteps.

To move forward, we need to take one step at a time and persevere through challenges.

“Be a clear, compassionate, high-character, competent, committed, connecting, contributing and consistent leader.  When you are, you will enjoy the foundation of all genuine and lasting success, the trust edge.”

It seems so long ago when I first heard David Horsager speak on stage, sharing the tips from his book. I was fascinated by his insights, and at the same time, I wondered how it was even possible to do a study on trust. Isn’t trust something that most people should instinctively know what to do?  Not so.

Each day, we have choices about how we live in that moment.


We’re given the gift of the “present.”  It‘s up to decide how to use it.  We can choose actions that create trust… especially in how we listen and respond to others.

It is my deepest hope that as we move forward into a new year, we stand up for justice in our world… doing what is right to be kind and loving to each other… and having compassion for those who need our help.

As Horsager suggests, “Show people they can trust you, and most often they will.”