Smart Trust continues to be the topic of much discussion in social media as evidenced by this cover story in Linked In and Business Magazine featuring Smart Trust and Stephen M R Covey.
The entire foundation of social media relies on trust and the brokering of that trust among friends, colleagues and collaborators. Just as the economic melt down was rooted in a breach of trust, smart trust fuels the growth of social media. A seismic shift in the success of social media was, I believe, somewhat unknowingly implemented by Mark Zuckerberg even before Facebook exploded. It’s early success was predicated on the requirement of the use of an authentic identity, instead of the pseudonyms prevalent on AOL and others at the time. The accountability and transparency of using our true identity not only facilitated the ability to transfer trust and reputation, but provided a level of accountability and civility required to become a “high ground” force for social good.
Stephen and I resonate with a concept I first read of in Think and Grow Rich published in the 1930′s, that of signing your work as if it would be published in the newspaper the next morning. Warren Buffet, in a message to his team at Berkshire Hathaway said it this way as we noted in Smart Trust:
“We can afford to lose money—even a lot of money. We cannot afford to lose reputation—even a shred of reputation. Let’s be sure that everything we do in business can be reported on the front page of a national newspaper in an article written by an unfriendly but intelligent reporter. In many areas, including acquisitions, Berkshire’s results have benefitted from its reputation, and we don’t want to do anything that in any way can tarnish it. Berkshire is ranked by Fortune as the second-most admired company in the world. It took us 43 years to get there, but we could lose it in 43 minutes.”
In a very real sense social media brings this abstraction to life. Virtually any thing we say or do can in fact be published in the next moment. This is a very sobering level of accountability that I feel is potentially an extraordinary force for good and will help restore the civility we have lost of late.
Read this interview with Stephen in Linked In and Business Magazine and it will further expand your understanding of the significance of social media, not just the history so far, but more importantly the critical implications going forward. The more I understand the extraordinary influence of this new media, the more I am humbled by how little we yet understand. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what can prove to be a medium to restore trust and accountability of global citizens at a scale never before in history, and to do it in real time. Leveraging our influence at the scale enabled by social media can unleash a ripple effect of positive change we refer to as a global renaissance of trust. I predict this will spark a positive sea change of trust of historic proportions. (for the record we do understand the possibility of social media fueling the dark side, that’s why we call it Smart Trust not Stupid Trust. More on that later)