The Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies

Spring 2017 Business Book Review

The Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies

A book review and recommendation by Dan Beaulieu

The Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies

by Paul J. Zak
Copyright: 2017 Amacom
Price: $24
Pages: 248 with Index

It’s all about trust.

Yes, this is a book about trust, and yes, it does deal with what your associates, partners and customers think about you and how you can make trust the most important element of your relationships with them.

Here is the key: According to author and neuroscientist Paul J. Zak, the way to make your employees more productive is to trust them and to allow them to use their own judgement in doing their jobs. In fact, for most people, establishing true trust in them raises them to a new level. He goes on to say that trust is more effective than money when it comes to raising performance, which is something I have always believed.

There is an old saying that people die for a piece of cloth (read flag) rather than for money and that is the essence of what I believe Mr. Zak is talking about.

The thing about this book is that it talks about things we in management have always known but have not characterized. For example, as most sales managers know, motivating salespeople is all about campaigns, setting high goals and rallying your sales team to make those numbers and achieve that goal. People want to know they are doing important work. We are not in a “leave your brains at the door and just do your job” environment. Instead, we have to encourage our people to think. We want their brains as well as their brawn no matter what their job is.

You will get a kick of how Mr. Zak uses the acronym OXYTOCIN to describe the elements of building trust.

Ovation – which stands for appreciation.

eXpectation – which stands for creating strong but achievable goals.

Yield – which stands for letting your employees take control of their work.

Transfer – which stands for letting the workers decide who they want to partner with.

Openness – which stands for sharing everything in full transparency.

Caring – which stands for honestly caring about your associates as you want them to care for each other.

Invest – which stands for investing in employees’ careers.

Natural – which stands for being honest with one another even when it means sharing vulnerability.

If you think about it, all of these elements should always have been the building blocks to successfully running any company or any organization. Our companies should all be built on trust as should all of our relationships. I thank Mr. Zak for bringing this out in the open so clearly in this fine book.

Dan Beaulieu is the president and founder of D.B. Management, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in all aspects of sales, marketing and branding with a focus on rep-principal relationships. His latest book is The PCB 101 Handbook which can be purchased online by emailing Dan is also the author of “It’s Only Common Sense,” a weekly sales column appearing at Dan can be reached at 207-649-0879.