Trust is more important than Knowledge
There are a few things in this world that, unfortunately, no amount of reading books, no amount of watching movies, and no amount of learning from others' experiences can teach you. Those things can only be learned from own personal experiences. One of the most difficult among them to learn is the importance of trust. I didn't learn the value of trust for 25 good years of my life, until the time when someone I trusted broke my trust and left me torn apart.
Think of a friend who is highly learned. He is seen as a polymath in his discipline. He has immense and in-depth knowledge of his field. He has been highly successful and you see him as your idol. But, what if the person cannot be trusted? What if the person misguides you out of fear of losing the monopoly in his discipline? What if the person cannot keep a penny little secret that you told him out of trust? Is his knowledge important for you anymore? If I were in your place, I would choose to drown rather being saved by such a friend.
The importance of trust has been highlighted by several leaders. Microsoft is one of the largest companies in the world. When Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft) was asked about the recipe behind the success of Microsoft in the cloud, he said -
Engineers made the cloud possible. Sales got our clients.
But it was the trust that our customers have that made it successful.
Satya cannot be more honest. He highlighted one of the most important aspects that make every company storing user's data run on - Trust. The day Microsoft loses the trust of its customer would be its doomsday.
Of course, I had broken the trust of some of the most important people in my life. Over the years I had learned that one never remembers his/her achievements, but, one definitely remembers how he/she treated people. Often people break trust out of some short-sighted success that they think they would achieve. Often people become greedy and tend to forget the fact that very secret of success - sharing it with others. They grow! They reach the heights of success in their career, till the time when they realize that they had burned bridges to fuel their own aircraft. Now, even if I end up earning a billion dollars, I cannot exchange it to get back the friend who I deceived. Well, you may argue - Why won't you get new friends?. See this is what experience will eventually teach you - regrets are always more painful!
How do leaders become leaders? How did Sundar Pichai become the CEO of Google? Is it because of his bachelor's degree from the prestigious IIT Kharagpur? Absolutely not. In fact, this is where education is no longer important. Sundar Pichai is the CEO of Google because people trust him. People trust him that under his leadership he won't take any step that would harm Google's reputation. This might seem to be a small effort. But when a person is surrounded by their competitors, it is often tempting for him to take a shortcut, thereby harming the reputation of an organization for his own personal growth. Resisting this temptation is the single biggest job of a leader and that's what Sundar Pichai can do very well.
Trust is a part of the success iceberg. In fact, it is the largest part of it that cannot be seen but supports the entire iceberg. I realized it's important very late in my life and I wish to keep the lessons forever.