The Many Shades of Trust – Continued

There are also different kinds of trust depending on people’s personalities and capabilities. One can trust someone’s ethics but not competence. One can trust someone’s competence but not her attitude. One can trust someone’s attitude but not time sense. One can trust someone’s sincerity but not discretion. One can trust someone’s intentions but not ability. One might trust someone’s integrity but not that of her acquaintances. The list is endless. For example, I trust my secretary for being completely honest, but I don’t trust her memory – so I double-check.

Trust also changes with time – someone trustworthy today might not have been so in the past, or might not be so in future. For examples, someone you trust might get into a relationship with someone you don’t trust – in that case, the first person will no longer be vested with the same trust as before.

In a family business, the lines between personal life and business life are always blurred and therefore, there isn’t a strict boundary between the people trusted within the family circle and those in business. The ancient Indian Management Guru Chanakya advises the king, “A friend who is not good shall not be trusted, nor trust a friend who has not proven bad. They may reveal your secrets to others when not in good terms with you.”

In today’s world with alienated relationships, trust is not just an old-fashioned value but a fundamental ingredient that can either destroy or fast-track the growth of the family business. Therefore, the founder should exercise wisdom and discretion in managing all her relationships.


Read more:

6 ways to build your family’s human capital

What Influences Culture in Family Businesses?

Keywords: Trust, relationship, vulnerability, chanakya

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