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Trust Is the Fuel for High Performance

By Joey Havens

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Hundred Percent trust meter background with blue glowing lights.

Hopefully, you have had the pleasure of meeting Jan our part-time (Ark & MS) neighbor in Ridgeland, MS, in one of my previous blogs. Jan makes the most delicious and irresistible chocolate peanut butter bars. I guess her passion has faded somewhat as I haven’t seen any in my freezer in months. What a shame.

Tonight, Jan has walked up for one of her spontaneous visits that are never as short as she might imply upon entry.

“Don’t worry, Joey, I can only stay about five minutes tonight.”

I know this is my signal to go find some work, a chore or a book to read as CeCe is going to be tied up for the next “five” minutes. From my office, I notice the conversation has progressed to the front porch so I ease out of my chair and join them.

CeCe is sharing with Jan that she is looking at trading cars to have more trunk space and she thinks she wants a small SUV like Jan drives. The problem she is having is that the dealer doesn’t have any new or used ones on the lot. When we did an internet search within 150 miles, we didn’t locate any as this one has to be white. Anyway, CeCe is explaining her frustrations.

Without hesitation, Jan says, “Listen, take mine and drive it this week. I’m gone all week and it just sits in the garage anyway.”


“Yes, I would love for you to use it,” as she explains where the car keys will be.

Jan has demonstrated exactly what we need more of in every company’s and organization’s culture as well as in our connections with others. Jan extended to CeCe one of the most treasured things we can receive — unconditional trust. Leaders, friends and family members who lead with trust are the ones who make things happen. High performance in a team is always connected with high trust.

We can never really earn someone’s trust, we can be worthy of it, yet, they must be vulnerable and extend the trust. For cultures today to be magnetic, to be people first, leaders and leadership teams must trust more in the good in people.

We must move away from control and work on our ability to trust others first. When we are scared to trust or always reluctant to trust someone until they prove themselves completely, we miss big opportunities and incredible relationships.

Jan is so trusting, you love her even when it’s been fifty-five minutes and no chocolate peanut butter bars. We want to lead with trust but always consider if someone is trustworthy. Let’s be more like Jan, be vulnerable and lead with trust.

CeCe, have you hit the garage door again?

Coming in 2023, my new book Leading with Significance breaks through the limiting barriers of common culture theory and demonstrates, with great transparency, the real human emotions that elevate a culture to one that is genuine, enduring and magnetic. Sign up today for updates at 

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