Whatever the “race” is that we are each running, we do want to win. We do want to experience both a successful run and a decent point-standing in the finished achievement. Admittedly there are times we find ourselves on a track which we’d rather not be running. But that is not an indication that we don’t want to be successful. Quite the contrary! Our dislike of a bad track is exactly an indicator that we DO care about running well and finishing well.
I recently saw a brief clip of the movie “Days of Thunder” (1990, with Robert Duvall and Tom Cruise) and it happened to be the story’s key turning point. The racing team has been without success, in fact not even finishing their races. The older pit crew boss is constantly at odds with the young hot-shot driver, and the car owner is nearly out of money, having no success in gaining corporate sponsorship due to lousy point standings in NASCAR. In a tense meeting where the car owner pointedly lays out the details of their situation, it deteriorates further with the driver storming out of the room and the pit crew boss proclaiming that he just can’t talk with the driver at all. As the car owner is heading out the door he stops, turns, says to the pit crew boss, “And Harry, I know you’re great, you know you’re great, but if the guy in the car doesn’t trust you, we’re never gonna win a race. “
That phrase is key to understanding success in any venture, be it a family relationship, a business situation, a health issue, or personal development. Attitudes of individual superiority always push towards a negative outcome, even if they seem justified by the person’s experience and capabilities. Attitudes of superiority simply get in the way of trust, and if the guy in the car doesn’t trust you, we’re never gonna win.
Building trust is hard and essential work. There’s many an old house in the county where I was born that has a foundation of large chunks of limestone. Though such stone was plentiful in the fields, it wasn’t easy to get them cleaned, stacked, and mortared into being a foundation. But that work was essential for the creation of the house. Likewise is the work of building trust: it is foundational to any other success, and no “success” will stand without it.
“If the guy in the car doesn’t trust you, we’re never gonna win a race. “
What will you do to build trust?