Trustworthiness: The Ultimate Quality
Jai Hind College – Graduation Ceremony
A decade back, I was invited by Jai Hind College, in South Mumbai, as a Chief Guest for the Graduation Ceremony of the current batch. I readily accepted.
On the evening of the Ceremony, I realized that Jaya Row, an authority of Vedanta, was the Keynote Speaker. I was nervous.
Soon after the function commenced, Ms Row delivered her address with confidence and elegance. I realized that she had no script. The flow was natural and her style engaging. The focus was obviously Vedanta Principles.
I decided to discard my planned speech.
When I was invited to deliver my address, I informed the students that I will speak on “trustworthiness” as taught to me by Stephen Covey, in 1999. It had left a deep impression on my mind. Ms Row had awakened several of those Covey lessons.
This is how it unfolded….
The ultimate aim of any human is to be considered trustworthy. By seniors, colleagues, juniors, suppliers, customers, society, family, friends, and more.
The ultimate unacceptable pronouncement is “ I don’t trust you”. Universally.
You may not like me, but please trust me.
Trustworthy people have Character. Trustworthy people also have the relevant Competencies.
In terms of Character, the three main attributes must be:
- Integrity. Demonstrated by keeping ones promises. Example: On-time delivery
- Maturity: Demonstrated by the ability to define problems objectively. Example: The problem statement should be free from suggested blame and/or remedy.
- Abundance Mentality: Demonstrated by Win-Win thinking. Example: Should break the I Win – You lose mentality, and optimize solutions (give and take) such that supplier and purchaser both Win.
Character is built through experience and example.
Just having Character is not enough to be considered trustworthy. How good are the Competencies?
Competencies can be taught. Hard and soft.
In terms of hard Competencies, they are usually job specific. Broadly, they are:
- Process focussed – Cycle time; Efficiency; Effectiveness; and more.
- Management/ Quality Tools focused – Break-even point; CPM; Flowchart; Histogram; and many more.
On the other hand, soft Competencies are universal. They make the difference.
- Facilitation: Being a catalyst in team decision making.
- Training: The focus is on current skills competencies. One-to-many.
- Coaching: The focus is on specific skills required by an individual. A one-to-one education-action-feedback capability.
- Counselling: The focus is on specific behaviour of an individual. A one-to-one education-action-feedback capability.
As the graduating students go out into the business world, they could add to the branding of Jai Hind College, by proving to be trustworthy individuals.
Trustworthiness is the Ultimate Quality – for an individual; for an organization; for a nation.
- Engineering institutions should include liberal arts subjects in their curriculum.
- Medical colleges should also include liberal arts subjects in their curriculum. Role model: Dr Farokh Udwadia.
- Its not ABC. Address Attitude first, for a change in Behaviour, that will lead to Commitment.
- Its CBA. Get Commitment first. Defined Behaviour will follow. And hopefully, in time, Attitudes will change.