Book Review: The Trust Factor—The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies

Reading time ( words)

The Trust Factor—The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies

Author: Paul J. Zak

Amacom, 2017

Price $24.00 

It’s all about trust.

This is a book about trust and it deals with what your associates, partners and customers feel about you and how you can make trust the most important element of your relationships with them.

Here’s the key: According to author and neuroscientist Paul J. Zak, the way to make your employees more productive is to trust them and to allow them to use their own judgement in doing their jobs. In fact, establishing true trust in employees raises them to a new level. Zak goes on to say that trust is more effective than money when it comes to raising performance, which is something I have always believed. There is an old saying that people die for a piece of cloth (read flag) rather than for money, and that is the essence of what I believe Zak is talking about.

This book talks about what we in management have always known, but not characterized. For example, as most sales managers know, motivating sales people is all about campaigns, setting high goals and rallying your sales team to make those numbers and achieve that goal. People want to know they are doing important work. We are no longer in a leave-your-brains-at-the-door-and-just-do-your-job environment; instead, we encourage our people to think. We want their brains as well as their brawn, no matter what their job is.

You’ll get a kick of how Zak uses the acronym OCYTOCIN to describe the elements of building trust:

Ovation: appreciation

eXpectation: creating strong but achievable goals

Yield: letting your employees take control of their work

Transfer: letting the workers decide who they want to partner with

Openness: sharing everything in full transparency

Caring: honestly caring about your associates as you want them to care for each other

Invest: investing in employees’ careers

Natural: being honest with one another even when it means sharing vulnerability

If you think about it, these elements should have always been the building blocks to successfully running any company or any organization. Our companies should all be built on trust as should our relationships. I thank Zak for bringing this out in the open so clearly in his fine book.



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