“Love Makes the World Go ‘Round” is a song popularized by Perry Como…now I’m really showing my age! Other songs with similar titles have been written through the years. They share the sentiment that everything depends on love. Love is incredible. Love is strong. But…I want to suggest an alternative that may be even more powerful: TRUST.
When given a choice between trusting love or loving trust, I’m going to love the trust! Why? It’s difficult to love something that isn’t trustworthy. Most solid, lasting relationships are built on foundations of trust. Think about those “go to” people in your life; the people you’ve “entrusted” with your love and devotion. What are the traits that have made them so important to you? Dependability…unselfishness…consistency…truthfulness…transparency…those are the things that come to my mind. You love them because they exhibit behaviors and demonstrate characteristics that, more often than not, sustain and validate that love. As a Christian, even my love for Christ is predicated on my trust that He is who He says He is.
To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved. George MacDonald
The coin of the realm in the land of leadership is trust. Trust is a priceless treasure; one that takes a lifetime to earn and a moment to give away. As leaders (or parents or spouses or…), the most precious thing we have is the trust given by those that rely and depend on us. What gift is more important to either receive or to bestow? That is why it is so important that the leader be honorable and worthy of that trust. Trust’s value also demands that the follower be discerning and careful in granting it.
“Am I a trust-worthy leader?” That’s a question that ought to rise with regularity in our minds. It leads us to self-critique: Am I dependable? Do I do what I say I am going to do? Do I think of others before I think of myself? Do I act with consistency in personality and morality? Do I tell the truth no matter what? Am I appropriately transparent and vulnerable? Do I promote the health of all that depend on me? Am I equitable and fair in my dealings? Am I the kind of person that I would trust?
We’re paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
This quote is about Atticus Finch, the protagonist of To Kill a Mockingbird. His consistency, honesty, morality, and resolve made him a person that could be trusted with the most difficult of tasks. He wasn’t superhuman. He wasn’t wealthy. He wasn’t powerful. He was trustworthy in all things. He was someone you could count on to “do right.” While the character of Atticus is fictitious the quality of character he represented is not. It is a quality to which every leader could and should aspire.
“Trust Makes the World Go ‘Round,” now that’s a song worth singing. Sorry, Perry.