The speaker was Stephen M R Covey, son of the legendary Stephen Covey who wrote the mega best seller “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – one of my favourite books.
Mr Covey Junior spoke on the subject of trust and how trust adds to the bottom line profit in business.
He highlighted a great story to illustrate his point. He talked about a donut store that was extremely busy and highly successful. The long queues however meant customers occasionally left the queue because of the wait. One of the biggest reasons for the wait was the issuing of change. The owner decided he would leave change on the counter for customers to pay for their donuts and sort out their own change.
By allowing this trust he discovered that profits went up because people did not have to wait so long. And of course there were the less tangible ‘repayments of trust’ by customers who probably told even more of their friends about the trusting donut store.
A fabulous story that underlines to me how trust is not simply one of those ‘soft woolly minded thinking’ issues in business – it makes real hard sense on the bottom line.
I am not at all surprised. In fact what always surprises me is that we are surprised that we can trust folks. I’m surprised this sort of story is news. Why is it news? Why is trusting people the exception rather than the rule? Why in fact does trusting people make news at all?
People can be trusted for crying out loud – I would say ESPECIALLY customers and front line workers.
The US Secretary of War during World War II, Henry Lewis Stimson (1867–1930) said:
“The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him”
I love that!!!
Don’t you think there is something quite sad when 'trusting people' is seen as somehow newsworthy and innovative in business .... or is it just me getting old?