In One Word: Trust



“Do you have a minute?” asked your manager. 

You must have heard this question several times, and even responded with a resiling “Of course!”

“Congratulations! We are asking you to lead the new project.” your manager announced.

At that precise moment, what were your thoughts? Was your immediate reaction, “This is great”

Or was it just the opposite? Perhaps you thought, “Ugh, I already have enough on my plate…”

What was the next question you asked yourself? “How exciting! A new learning opportunity! How quickly can I dig in?”Or was it “Is she really asking me to lead this effort or am I being volun-told?” (Yes, ‘volun-told’ is one of my favorites.)

Regardless of your immediate thoughts, the project is critical and you are responsible for it.  

It’s morning, the next day.

Your mind has been racing all night. There are so many things we need to do. Wait a second!  “We?” There is no “we”. It’s just you!!!!  

Where do we start? Oh yes, you forgot, it’s just you! The first thing you do is work swiftly to surround yourself with the A-Team. Mr. T would be helpful in intimidating the executive team when you share your progress. Unfortunately, Mr. T is not a colleague and your firm currently has a restriction on engaging him due to a freeze on hiring temporary contractors.  

What are your other options?

At this point, what is the primary character trait you would look for in people whom you wish to surround yourself with? 

I asked for the ‘primary’, so you can choose only one. I know that successful individuals have many valuable qualities, but my question is “What is the most important characteristic you seek while selecting your team?”  

Perhaps you look for the smartest, or the one who consistently burns the midnight oil and is the hardest-working? Perhaps you seek someone with high energy who can always be counted on to bring the much-needed positivity? Or let me put it differently —perhaps you seek enthusiastic, strong communicators? All these are great qualities, but which of these would be the most important?  

For me, it’s TRUST! Without trust, do any of the above really matter?

Think about it for a moment. In both your personal and professional lives, isn’t trust at the root of every strong relationship?

A person can have all (yes, all) the traits mentioned above but if you cannot trust that person, nothing else really matters. 

I am not suggesting that you surround yourself with trustworthy, low performers. Find the right balance. Ensure your team is capable and well-rounded, but you must also be able to trust everyone on the team.

Now go and build your team, and ensure that everyone onboard is a trusted ally. It is the most important trait. TRUST me!

Michael S. Partnow is the Head of Wealth Management at’s intelligent automation platform enables enterprises to build business applications that run their processes end to end.  Using cognitive capabilities such as intelligent document processing, AI, RPA, ML and advanced analytics, these apps learn and adapt to changing situations impacting the business landscape, and even mimic human thinking and actions intelligently.

Contact Michael at [email protected]