Take for example NHTSA. It regulates vehicle safety in the US. Because of their requirements, we can trust that any vehicle we buy has been tested and validated to meet the most stringent safety standards. We know that if a manufacturer fails to meet these standards, the system will place incredible pressure on them in the way of lawsuits and hearing on Capitol Hill.
When is the last time you bought a car and had to think… “gee, I wonder if the airbag in here actually works?” You trust the safety systems, and that is a direct result of the overall system put in place by NHTSA.
When a system is not trust worthy, when citizens can’t trust their leaders you can quickly see indicators. Most indicators are verbal. Call it marketing spin. When actions fail, most failed leaders and systems try to mask their failures by trying to cover our eyes. In most dictatorships, masked democracies, or even companies with leaders that can’t be trusted, there is great emphasis on marketing. In fact, as the old communist rule goes… tell a lie 1000 times and it becomes the truth.
The following example would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that it’s the likely result of many deaths due to failed airbags. I pulled this out of Iranian auto manufacturing company ICKO
- “Samand Soren is a new family saloon created by Iran Khodro Industrial Group in 2007. The car enjoys latest automotive technologies which provide high levels of comfort, passive and active safety, and driving pleasure. Soren is equipped with a standard airbag to protect the driver against injuries resulted from severe collisions. The system has been tested in a reputable laboratory and its proper function has been approved.” - reference
The other example comes from the very recent Sukhoi Superjet crash. Reading through the text you see statements that smell of distrust… and with good reason.
- The agency also cited an unidentified spokesman for the Russian Transportation Ministry saying a preflight check had turned up nothing suspicious, a standard assurance offered by Russian transportation authorities after mishaps. “The plane was absolutely flight worthy,” the spokesman said.
Managers and leaders are resourceful. They will spin the facts to their advantage when trust has been broken. When you spot some twisting or bending of facts, it is very likely the leader or organization is trying to hide its trustworthiness. When an organization or leader ‘begs you to trust them’ it probably means you shouldn’t.
If you have examples of broken trust feel free to share them.