If I had to give one reason for whatever success our Top 20 team has had during the 20 years of our existence, I would without hesitation say trust. We have not always agreed with each other. In fact, we have often disagreed with each other. But we have always trusted each other.

I like playing with words, so allow me to indulge myself. At the center of the word trust is US. Any relationship, any US, can only grow and flourish if it is grounded in trust. Without trust, relationships RUST. We cannot develop all of our potential as a people, we cannot accomplish all that we are capable of, if trust is not the foundation of our relationship.

In previous Wellness Wednesday messages, we have focused on two powerful ways to build trust. Our April 29th message was on Communicate ‘You Matter’ and our May 5th message was on Help Others Succeed. A third major way to develop and maintain trust is to Honor the Absent. How do we talk about people who are not present? If we honor the absent, we build trust with people who are present. Because they see that we talk in an honoring way about people who are not present, they instinctively believe we will honor them when they are not present. Trust grows. However, if they hear us dishonoring the absent, they will believe we will do the same about them when they are not present. Trust rusts.

Click here to listen to Kevin discuss Honoring the Absent.

Major events that we are experiencing in 2020 are revealing a major trust deficit among racial groups, leaders in the areas of public health, policing, the media, and politics, just to name a few. Even much of American humor focuses on dishonoring the absent and American sports has high regard for athletes who trash talk. None of this began in 2020, but the years and years of mistrust are manifesting themselves as a cancer to our life as a people.

The huge mountain we have to climb to establish trust among us will require years of each of us respecting and looking out for each other. Some steps up that mountain can be taken by honoring the absent.

Our efforts to climb that mountain are not taken in vain. We know that trust is possible because we have already experienced it. As Nelson Mandela has said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

We are grateful to those of you who are reading this for the trust you have had in us. Our team…Kevin Brennan, Willow Sweeney, and Tom Cody…will keep climbing with you.

Paul Bernabei, Director
Top 20 Training