“EVERYONE CHOOSES ONE of two roads in life—the old and the young, the rich and the poor, men and women alike. One is the broad, well-traveled road to mediocrity, the other the road to greatness and meaning. The range of possibilities that exists within each of these two destinations is as wide as the diversity of gifts and personalities in the human family. But the contrast between the two destinations is as the night is to the day.”
Excerpt From: Stephen R. Covey. “The 8th Habit.”
Diagram explanation in podcast.
“The path to mediocrity straitjackets human potential. The path to greatness unleashes and realizes human potential. The path to mediocrity is the quick-fix, short-cut approach to life. The path to greatness is a process of sequential growth from the inside out. Travelers on the lower path to mediocrity live out the cultural “software” of ego, indulgence, scarcity, comparison, competitiveness and victimism. Travelers on the upper path to greatness rise above negative cultural influences and choose to become the creative force of their lives. One word expresses the pathway to greatness. Voice. Those on this path find their voice and inspire others to find theirs. The rest never do.”
Another area that creates huge trust issues in personal relationships is money. As many marriage counselors affirm, money problems are a key cause of divorce. While many such problems are caused by lack of character (selfish or impulsive spending, attempts to control or restrict a partner’s access to shared resources, or efforts to hide spending from a partner), many are also caused by lack of competence (lack of education or experience in money management). In addition, two people coming into a relationship are often scripted in different ways by family experience — for example, one may come from a background of spenders, while the other comes from a background of thrift.
Here’s a story from Stephen Covey’s book
“For years, my husband and I had problems managing our money. We would agree to spend our money in a certain way, then he would come home with some new thing we hadn’t agreed on. It was very frustrating, and I eventually withdrew emotionally as a financial partner.
Over time, however, we both came to realize that this situation was negatively affecting the trust in our relationship, and we decided to change. He worked on being more responsible to act based on our agreements; I worked on expressing my opinions better and participating more fully in financial decisions. And together, we became involved in learning more about good financial habits, including budgeting and investing.
It’s taken quite a while to shift old habits, but through it all, we’ve become amazingly close and more unified in our financial values, goals, and habits. In fact, I’d say that now financial units is one of our strengths. Doing something together that was this challenging has created even strong bonds of trust in our entire relationship.
Whether you lose the trust of others through a conscious act of betrayal, poor judgement, an honest mistake, a failure of competence, or a simple misunderstanding, the path to restoration is the same — to increase your personal credibility and behave in ways that inspire trust.
Sometimes the only way to win back is by ACTION. It’s like when you don’t keep an agreement with your spouse, children, or friends in general. If you consistently betray their trust by cancelling on a consistent basis, what will ultimately happen is “daddy always says this but he does something else.”
When that happens, you need to make commitments and agreements to yourself — in MICRO. Sometimes massive steps are just too much and it’s often times the bain of all existence. If you can take out bite-size chunks, you will be able
However, understanding how trust was lost in the first place is an important key to understanding how to apply the Cores and Behaviors in attempting to restore it. Generally speaking, a loss of trust created by a violated of character (Integrity or Intent) is far more difficult to restore than a lost of trust created by a violation of competence (Capabilities or Results). Violations of Integrity are the most difficult of all to restore in all relationships, whether they are personal, family, professional, organizational, or in the marketplace.
Keep in mind that when you talk about restoring trust, you’re talking about changing someone else’s feelings about you and confidence in you. And that’s not something you can control. You can’t force people to trust you. You can’t make them have confidence in you. They may be dealing with other issues in their own lives that make the challenge more difficult for them. Or they may have interpreted a breach of competence on your part as a breach of character, which significantly complicates the issue. The point is that you can only do what you can do. If you’re not able to restore trust in a particular situation or relationship, by strengthening your Cores and making habits of the Behaviors, you will increase your ability to establish or restore trust in other situations and relationships throughout your life.
Building your brand. Talk task, right? Let’s start off with some basic questions.
Who do you want to be seen as online?
What is your message?
What is it you’re trying to build and help people with?
It’s always the “help.” Understand when you’re trying to become an entrepreneur, the moment you start thinking about your own pockets, you lose. The new wave of entrepreneurs seek to help people who are in need of something specific.
Depending on what country you’re on, be careful. I’m saying this because my brand online is known as The Arsenio Buck Show or anything Arsenio Buck. Now, can people defame me? Can they throw shame on my name? No, they have zero firepower, unless they are Thais bringing up things I said about 5 years ago — which I won’t apologize for (and in regards to the racism I’ve been through).
When it comes to Business Brand, there are some big questions I must address. If I quit a single job at a bank here in Thailand, how much can that hurt my name? Well, I would never be able to work for the company ever again because I’m using my name (brand) to work there. However, there isn’t a distaste when you actually hear the name Arsenio Buck. It’s more like, “oh, he’s the teacher that quit because he was sick of being treachered, two-faced and snowballed by everyone.” Not, “omg, he tried seducing his students,” (you’d be surprised what some nasty FOREIGNERS do here).
Nonetheless, if you already have a brand, here are some questions you need to ask.
Does my brand have Integrity? Do we have a reputation for honesty? Do we have values people believe in and can trust? Do we have a reputation in the market for courageously addressing tough issues quickly and for honestly admitting and repairing mistakes?
Does my brand demonstrate good intent? Are we perceived as simply “out to make a profit,” or do people feel that we genuinely care, that we want to help others win?
Does my brand demonstrate Capabilities? Do people associate our name with quality, excellence, continuous improvement, and the ability to change to maintain relevance in a global economy age? Are we recognized as having the ability to accomplish our objectives in ways that build trust?
Is my brand associated with Results? Do people feel we deliver what we promise? Is a good track record associated with our name? Are people willing to answer “yes!” ?
In regards to my last podcast, this somewhat relates. When you do redundant tasks and you’re often criticized about them, you would probably stop doing them any longer, right? When you’re supervised, overlooked, and then made the talk of town because “his grammar was bad” (although I intentionally did that because i hated writing those tasks), I no longer cared about management, garbage structures, bullshit control, or anything else. The tax and dividends had skyrocketed to a point it could no longer be reduced.
Redundancy is unnecessary duplication. Of course, redundant mission-critical systems and data management are necessary. But a redundancy tax is paid in excessive organizational hierarchy, layers of management, and overlapping structures all designed to ensure control. For the most part, it grows out of the paradigm that unless people are tighly supervised, they can’t be trusted. And it is very costly.
In some circumstances, rework and redesign might also be considered costs of redundancy that’s triggered by low-trust behavior. In software development, as much as 30-50 percent of expenditures can be on rework. In manufacturing, rework costs can often exceed the originally cost of producing the product.
Bureaucracy includes complex cumbersome rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and processes. It’s reflected in excessive paperwork, red tape, controls, multiple approval layers, and government regulations. Rather than focusing on continuous improvement and getting better, bureaucracy merely adds complexity and inefficiency — and costs — to the status quo.
If you want to establish a relationship with a client, what is one thing you can do to build trust the fastest?
DELIVER THE RESULTS!
When I first started teaching at a language center and company, I would venture out to a part of town/street that I used to work on in my previous job. Get this, the new company was located just 1km down the street where I was fired — which lead to me quitting the job that had originally sent me there because of mistreatment.
Going down there was nostalgic, and I really didn’t want go down a road that had been closed in the previous 5 months, but because I did and delivered the results, the chirps happened.
What do I mean by that? Well, different institutions began contacting me around Bangkok saying, “we heard about you through _____________ and we heard you’re a great teacher.” That word-of-mouf happened and that took me to the next level because I DELIVERED RESULTS.
Results give you instant credibility and instant trust. They give you clout. They clearly demonstrate that you add value, that you can contribute, that you can perform.
In a separate story, when I got the results needed for my students to go to universities around the world, it created chatter amongst the toxic Gen B foreigner teachers at my previous job. They were scared: “does this mean he will get more IELTS test? But he can’t teach this…or that. So more pre-conceived notions came in and that’s when I began teaching outside because I knew what my capabilities were.
Results provide a powerful tool for building trust in your relationships with others.
I post all the results of specific tests online. Why? Because people then know if I can deliver. What’s a more reputable institution: Arsenio Buck, or The British Council? Well, I see Arsenio teaching on YouTube, podcasts, Facebook lives, and free live sessions on Facebook. He’s demonstrated that he knows what he’s talking about. British Council, on the other hand, doesn’t show her the teachers are, what they do, free coaching, and doesn’t provide services. It just provides a “check out” page on their website.
The opposite of Deliver Results is performing poorly or failing to deliver. The counterfeit is delivering activities instead of results.
It’s like the people who make fantastic presentations and exciting promises….but never come through.
A funny, but head-scratching example of this would be Ja Rule, an American Rapper who promised a Fyre Festival full of booze, resort villas, 5-star gourmet food, and more. He delivered refugee tents, food in styrofoam boxes, and out-houses. What’s more shocking is people were bamboozled not only once, but three times! They didn’t learn the first time; therefore, he did it again, and again….and now people finally know how scandalous he is.
Another example would be a place I worked for before. In short, my student got a 7 on a speaking test. She paid an ABSURD AMOUNT OF MONEY at a famous institution and it went down to a 6. She learned with me again and shot up to a 7.5 on her speaking test.
So, going forward, I can NEVER recommend that language institution because they didn’t deliver the results.
Boy, that was a heck of a questionnaire I recently did the other day. Perhaps some of you didn’t understand the overall idea of doing it and what kind of awareness it should have brought to your life. Here goes my rundown of the strong categories and others that are in need of help.
My overall score was a 92. I was as hard as possible on myself, but I still achieved a pretty high score. The goal is to be brutally honest with yourself, because if you’re not, you’re never going to understand which areas/cores are hurting your overall success. I did give myself a +/- 4 points, so my worst score could’ve possibly been 88. Still pretty high, considering all that I’ve gone through in my life.
I am able to consistently make and keep commitments to myself and to others.
This is an area that I need to fix. You probably heard my podcast a week ago in regards to the people who are just terrible with keeping their promises. However, I too, don’t keep promises all the time. There was a time that I invited a woman onto my podcast, only for me not to keep my commitment in the end. At the beginning, establishing trust is the most pivotal, so if I stood her up for her time, I ultimately fail and lose credibility.
I genuinely care about other people and am deeply concerned about the well-being of others.
So, in terms of helping people around the world achieve their English/personal development goals, I’m 100%. However, when it comes to deeply caring about the well-being of others within these border (Thailand), that’s very difficult for me to achieve after 5 years of dealing with the things I’ve dealt with.
I have acquired the knowledge and mastered the skills required for my job.
When I was at my previous job almost a year ago, I lost a lot of passion in teaching my students. Yes, it was because of the lack of leadership and accountability where I work, the pointing fingers, and a handful of other things. There was a time when I just didn’t have the passion to prepare or teach anymore. When you put your heart into lessons, only to get complaints from entitled kids who don’t like black people — it’s demoralizing. That was the worst possible way to end a job, but it was necessary. Shortly after my departure, I had a few mentors that showed me the ropes, materials and techniques in regards to teaching students a specific course. I learned more in 2018 then I learned from October of 2014 to February of 2018….and it’s not even close.
I relentlessly upgrade and increase my knowledge and skills in all the important areas of my life.
Everyday I go through a series of habits that will enable me to grow. From using applications, to bettering myself emotionally, to meditation. Anytime while I’m commuting to and from work, I’m learning. There’s no such thing as downtime — there’s learning time.