What Happens When You Trust Too Much

Our previous articles were dedicated to different aspects which can help us to grow trust. But what would happen if we trust too much? Is it bad or good?

First let me tell you a little story in order to find an answer. This real story was told to me by one of my clients. Let’s call him Sergey.

Actually, Sergey is near fifty, works as a CEO and co-founder at IT-integration company. Working as an entrepreneur more than 20 years he has much experience and knowledge not only how to earn money but how to operate with people. At the same moment, he has very a specific trait. He tends to trust people. And sometimes, he tends to trust too much.

Any IT company has sales department or unit (if this company wants to survive :). As usual, this department is managed by the senior commerce manager. He has a lot of responsibility for clients, deals and revenue. Obviously, Sergey’s company had the same position. Furthermore, Sergey decided to hire a new person for this very important position. Let’s call him Alexander. From this point our trust story will begin.

Alexander was a very smart and ambitious guy. However he didn’t have enough experience as a senior commerce manager, but he brought new ideas in Sergey’s company. What about Sergey? As usual, Sergey fully trusted his commerce director. “My main principle is to trust my people” –  Sergey told this several time at their first meeting. And it was true. Sergey saw big potential in this guy and helped him to become a real commerce director, forgiving many mistakes and failures.

Until the last moment. Before the very important annual meeting with stakeholders all top-managers in Sergey’s company worked hard. It was necessary to prepare a lot of reports and Alexander was responsible for revenue reports.

Week before meeting

“Alexander, where is our report? I think you understand that it is very important to check it in advance.” – Sergey asked his commerce director for the report the week before.

“Boss, don’t worry. I’m working and preparing very great diagrams and graphs” – was Alexander’s answer.

“Ok, I trust you!”

After a week

“Alexander, I still didn’t get our report. I think you know, we will have to present it tomorrow morning and now it is already 6 p.m.?”

“Boss, I will send it to you in an hour”.

Near 10 pm in the evening

Finally, Sergey got the email with the report. It was awful. No graphs, no diagrams. The creation time of the document was 8 p.m. It was a shameless evasion.

But Sergey didn’t lose hope and wanted to figure out what happened. Because, he trusted his manager. He answered: “Alexander, what happened? This is evasion. Do you have a problems with time or you don’t know how to do it. Please, let me know, I‘m ready to help.”

“Please, I beg you to release me from this position.” – was his answer. It was betrayal.

Now I want to ask you, my readers and experts of trust. I want to know your opinions about Sergey’s trust attitude.

  • Did he make some mistakes to trust people at once?
  • If it was a mistake what should he do in the future in order to avoid it?
  • How would you try to recover trust in this situation?
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