When was the last time you intentionally looked for something only to find that when you focused on it, it was everywhere? For me, I can remember counting Subarus on my drive into work from Monument during my stint at the Chamber.
By the way, I think that number was close to 30 every day. What started as a rather harmless bit of intentionality on my part driving down the interstate is now the lens through which I view nearly everything.
How the book Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey landed on my desk, I do not remember. But someone reading this knows. This was the beginning of a period of enlightenment for me that shows no sign of abating. It was also the beginning of a journey that I knew needed to be told.
Many of you have copies of this book, as I freely shared it with those whom I felt could help amplify the very important message it contained. Here it is: All communities live in either a trust surplus or a trust deficit world. Like it or not, it is their currency and it informs their collective ability to move the needle on subjects of mutual benefit and concern.
A trust surplus is earned over time. It is the culmination of a series of healthy, transparent, respect-laden activities that was tone deaf as to who got the credit. Were there messy parts? You bet. But not messy in terms of alignment and participation.
On the other hand, a trust deficit can be generated overnight, in my opinion, and becomes the “gift that keeps on giving” that plays directly against our ability to bank a surplus. Make sense?
All those inter-city visits we made to other communities during my tenure at the Chamber and beyond were looking for the magic ingredients we could bring back home and apply in our own backyard. On every one of those visits they asked us, “Why are you here? You have all the essential ingredients (geography, quality of life, etc.) you need to be anything you wish.”
Today I would tell you what was inside of those exchanges was something much deeper. It was a search for and a conversation about the word trust. It was the essence of why we hit the road but were either unwilling or unable to put our finger on that precise dynamic.
Today, I would offer we are mired in a trust deficit-laden world. It is a hard, unpleasant and raw fact. It is also precisely the “anchor” that is holding us back. If Ralph Routon would devote the Colorado Springs Business Journal to this theme, we could see all the manifestations and implications of my contention.
But you know them as well as I do. The public and private sectors of our community all have skin in how we arrived in this unenviable place and how long we will stay here. Simply put, no one escapes this conversation.
Now for the rest of this story.
What started with the book comes full circle on Jan. 28 when Stephen M.R. Covey comes to town to provide us with the evidence and advice necessary to enable building our community’s surplus.
The cities we visited were absolutely correct: We own our own destiny and there are plenty of you working on it right now.
It is my hope that what we hear on Jan. 28 is what we internalize and act on from that day forward.
Let there be no mistake, it will be hard work — but it’s a commitment we can ill afford to shy away from … the stakes are far too high.
David Csintyan, former president and CEO of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, now is CEO of See The Change USA.