I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about some of the crazy things some people do.

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Dru! via Compfight

Suffice it to say, there’s a lot of things I don’t take chances on because, well, life is tough enough. Sure, there are people who get on rollercoasters and that might be a bit too extreme for me; if I can’t control it, I’m probably not doing it.

But there are some people who do some truly extreme things. There are people who climb mountains and will hang in the air while using grapples. There are people who climb these mountains only to jump off them without a parachute, trying to hang glide. There are people who will get into the water with deadly animals just to take their pictures. There is a video of a guy who climbed into an active volcano just to see if he could do it.

Wow, not me! I’ve never been able to understand people who take these kinds of chances with their life. I understand it’s their right to do it, but I have to admit that when I see or hear of these things, such as another Wallenda deciding to walk across a high open space without a net underneath, I get nervous, even if it’s already completed and all I’m doing is seeing it on a video.

When my friend and I parted, while I was driving back home, a question jumped into my mind: could I ever trust anyone who did things like that?

I have to admit that I don’t trust easily. I’ve seen too many things and heard of way more things that leads me to be skeptical with people where it concerns me. I never trusted employees to do the right thing until I educated them on how to do those things, and then monitored them to see how well they did, how well they listened, and how capable they were to learn more. Even then, it would take a lot more stages for us to go through before I trusted them more than when I met them.

Mother and Infant Bond
Steve Corey via Compfight

To me, trust is given to people who I believe would never do anything to harm me. At the same time, trust is given to people who seem to show that they care about themselves enough to never put me into a position to not trust them or their judgment.

Herein lies my issue. People who take chances with their lives scare me to no end. If I had to work with one of those folks I probably wouldn’t work with them for long except in a consulting capacity, where, by definition, I’m given the right to be somewhat removed.

For me, it’s not just extreme behavior like what I mentioned above that would trouble me.

Micro managers trouble me because it’s an extreme manner of leadership, a horrible one because no matter how much training I might get or what I might prove to be capable of a micro manager is never going to allow me to thrive.

Managers who show me they don’t care because they don’t know what I do trouble me because if they don’t care about the work I do, then they really don’t care about the work they do or about me and my options for improvement, and once again I’m not going to have the opportunity to thrive.

Managers who had problems with substance abuse, who use a lot of profanity, who fly off the handle at the flip of a switch… I don’t trust any of them. Managers who don’t do their job, who claim credit for the work of others, who gossip about people who work with and for them… they might as well be the people who jump into holes just to see what’s in them.

I believe trust has to be earned, but I also believe there are times when someone with extreme behavior, no matter what else they may or may not do, are going to be horrible leaders. It’s possible I might not be fair in my assumption, but history has shown me that there’s a pattern, a track record if you will, where my beliefs are correct at least 90% of the time, and I think I’m being generous with that number.

Still, it begs the question I started with; how easily do you trust people and what does it take for you to decide to trust them, whether you work for them or they work for you? If you don’t trust all that easily like myself, what would it take for you to start trusting others?
 

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