Stephen Covey’s Season 4 – Episode 2: The Economics of Trust

Here we go, people.  Here’s a simple formula that will enable you to take trust from a variable.  Trust affects two outcomes — speed and cost.  When trust goes down, speed will also go down and costs will go up.

When trust goes up, speed will also go up and costs will go down.

Stephen Covey talked about the historic situation that happened on September 11th, 2001.  His trust in flying in America had gone down significantly.  When he would travel before the attacks, it was very easy for him to get through airport security and home in the quick airport routine.  Now there are procedures that take a lot longer at airports.  In recent years, FAA and airport security had come under fire because apparently they were sexually molesting a lot of passengers, including children.  Since then, the reports have plummeted, but you guys get the drift.  His trust went down, speed also went down and the cost went up. 

He also had flown out of a high-risk area in the Middle East.  His trust was super low in this area and had to arrive at the airport four hours before his flight, significantly reducing the speed.  He had to go through several screenings, and his bag was unpacked and searched multiple times by multiple people.  I also saw this when a passenger flying from Dubai to New York (on the flight that apparently 100 people were sick) had the same exact problem.

Clearly, extra security measures were necessary, and in this instant I was grateful for them, but the point remains the same: Because trust was low, speed went down and cost went up.

So, how can I relate this to my life? Well, when I had first flown Southwest Airlines in August of 2006 to Arizona, I flew alongside my friend Ty.  When we took off, I was terrified and tears were running down my face because of the September 11th events. I no longer trusted Americans, flights, airports or anything after that happened.  However, as time went on, I got maybe a fraction better — but still didn’t trust them.

Fast-forwarding it to present day, I live in a hot zone where planes crash quite often (Indonesia).  My students always tell me, “Nok Air and Air Asia are cheap!”  I would say, “I don’t have a cheap life.”  Air Asia, with two inexperienced pilots, got slammed four years ago when a flight going from Jakarta to Singapore fell into the ocean.  The pilots tried climbing elevation too fast and they fell out of the sky.  Human error.

A week and a half ago, Thai Lion Air, which is based at the airport I hate just north of Bangkok, also crashed leaving Jakarta airport.  Jakarta is known for having the worst crash-safety (Russia and north Africa, too), in the world and that scared the hell out of me.

Will I ever fly Air Asia or Thai Lion Air if I go to any part of Indonesia? Absolutely NOT.

I flew Singapore Airlines 2 years ago. Why? Trust is extremely high with them and the speed is fast — however — the cost is high, too.

When the Bali bombings happened in 2003, I asked a colleague (should I go to Bali)? I was terrified of going to Bali after bombings, such as that, had happened.  I then realized my trust in Bali was low because of one event.  If that’s the case, I can NEVER go to New York!

See how silly that is?

So I went, and it was the best trip of my life.

Anytime I travel now, I take the best airlines.  Travel to HK? Cathay Pacific.  Back to America? Singapore Airlines.  As of this year, I told myself I’ll never fly Air Asia again.  The flight attendants are stupendously unprofessional and don’t care about anyone.  The last time I flew with them it was a shaking rollercoaster and a tube with F1 Race car seats inside. I can’t do it anymore.

When I fly now, I fly out of the main airport.  I don’t go to the old airport anymore in the north. Why? I don’t trust the security, check-in, staff, food, or ANYTHING there.  Sure, the speed is high and the cost is low, but without trust, I just can’t do it.

 

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