Authors and Consultants | GP Strategies Corporation

Top Performer Perspective: Trust

Image courtesy of xedos4 at

Image courtesy of xedos4 at

Fall means changing leaves with beautiful displays of color, crisp nights with a nip in the air, long walks in the cool evenings, and football! Ah, that great American tradition of watching college football on a beautiful fall Saturday afternoon.

Why bring up football in our discussion of the perspectives shared by top performers? Simple, this week we want to discuss the perspective of trust. And there’s almost no better example of trust than that between a quarterback and the receivers.

When the receiver goes out for a pass, the quarterback has to throw the ball not to where the receiver is, and not even to a spot just in front of the receiver, but to the spot where he knows the receiver will eventually end up. Typically the receiver will “break” or change directions suddenly to get away from the other team’s defense. But the ball has to be thrown before the receiver breaks. If the receiver fails to make the proper turn at the proper time, the pass will be incomplete or worse, be intercepted by the opponents. The quarterback trusts the receiver to make the right moves and the receiver trusts that the ball will be there when it should be. Each player has to trust the other for the pass to be completed.

So it is with top performers. They realize they can’t do it all. They have to pass the ball to others and depend on them to do their share of the work. And then they have to be ready when it’s passed back later in the process. That demands trust—trust that each person will do his or her portion of the work at the right time and to the right standards.

Trust must be developed over time. One of the characteristics of top performers is that they invest the time necessary to build trust with those around them–trust that is required for the entire team to succeed.


Question to ponder:

  • How do you build and reward trust?


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