In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, defining a successful course of action can be a challenging task, especially when facing new opportunities and the need to establish a clear path for business development. With a background in Business Development and decades of experience in the industry, I’ve witnessed significant changes, from a time when handshakes sealed deals to the digital age we live in today. I embarked on this journey when there was no internet, no computers, no CAD software, and not even the ubiquitous fax machine. Everything was created by hand, and deals were sealed with a firm handshake.
The evolution of trust in business and social interactions has been profound. In the past, trust was the foundation of all transactions and agreements. A simple handshake could carry the same weight as a written contract. Verbal agreements, often referred to as “gentlemen agreements,” held a legal standing in many countries. Trust was paramount, and it was the cornerstone of successful business relationships, of every business interaction. If you made a promise, you kept it.
The Nostalgia Trap
It’s easy to look back on those bygone days and assume that the achievements of the past were only possible because the starting conditions were different. However, what if we challenge this notion? What if we examine the characteristics of today’s business world first?
Contemporary business, and society as a whole, has shifted away from its trust-based roots.
You might argue that trust still plays a significant role, as it fosters investments in the stock market and ensures the stability of countries and companies.
However, this perspective does not fully explain global financial crises or the increasing discontent among people towards their leaders, whether on a grand scale or a smaller one. The root of these issues lies in the undue influence of money.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not suggesting that money has no place in business or human life.
Money is undoubtedly a part of the equation. What I’m saying is that it occupies an undue and central role. It has taken the center stage, overshadowing the true purpose of our endeavors.
So, here’s a fundamental question: Why do we work, start businesses, or strive to be active in society? The conventional answer is “For money.” However, this answer falls short of the mark. In reality, we engage in these activities to earn the money needed to enhance our quality of life and, subsequently, our well-being. The ultimate goal is well-being and happiness, not the accumulation of wealth. Money should be seen as a tool — an important one, but not the sole objective.
The Faulty Paradigm
In light of these misconceptions, many businesses operate based on a false paradigm. To navigate this changing landscape and succeed, it’s crucial to embrace a different approach. Trust must be reinstated as the cornerstone of business relationships and social interactions. To achieve this, I follow a set of simple rules that promote trust, making it an integral part of my daily life and work.
To address this issue, we must recognize that many businesses are built upon a flawed paradigm. This realization has guided my approach to work and life, enabling me to establish a trustworthy and reliable lifestyle. The core principle revolves around building and fostering trust, akin to the bygone days when trust was the linchpin of human interactions. It’s a concept that modern marketing coaches and business leadership courses endeavor to impart, and it aligns with our daily experiences. Trust is the currency that we all seek, as it engenders confidence, leading to well-being and successful endeavors, which, in turn, contribute to financial prosperity.
Here are the fundamental principles that guide my approach to trust and success:
- Be Trustful and Trusted: Embrace the concept of trust as it was in the days when a handshake sealed a deal. Trust should be a two-way street, and your actions should reflect this principle. Being trustworthy and trusting others is the foundation of building strong relationships.
- Trust as a Lifestyle: Recognize that trust is not just a business principle but a way of life. It should permeate every aspect of your daily interactions, both personally and professionally.
- A Paradigm Shift: Understand that trust is not an outdated concept; it is the key to building robust and lasting relationships in today’s world.
- Trust and Confidence: Trust breeds confidence, and confidence leads to well-being. The presence of trust in your interactions will pave the way for success in your endeavors.
- The Role of Money: Reevaluate the role of money in your life and business. It is a tool to achieve well-being, not the ultimate goal.
The Twenty Rules of Trust
Building trust and being a trustworthy individual should be straightforward, much like the need for trust itself. It relies on a keen observation of common human behavior and interaction.
There are approximately twenty fundamental rules that underpin this concept. In future articles, I look forward to sharing these rules one by one, along with explanations of why they are crucial and how to implement them effectively. In the meantime, you can follow me on LinkedIn and other social networks to witness these principles in action.
The path to success in business development begins with trust, and by embracing these rules, you can build a robust foundation for your professional and personal life. The changing landscape of business development calls for a reevaluation of our approach. Trust, once the bedrock of successful interactions, must be reinstated at the forefront of our endeavors. By embracing trust as a way of life, we can build robust relationships that lead to success, well-being, and happiness. Money, while important, should be seen as a means to an end, not the end itself. Trust, confidence, and genuine human connections are the true keys to unlocking success in business development and life.
Author: Raffaella Grassi, Senior Managing Partner at Origami Engineering UK
Raffaella Grassi has achieved significant breakthroughs in business development and advanced engineering for energy, aerospace, material science, and industrial markets through her firm Origami Engineering. The London-based Raffaella Grassi is focused on management and business strategy. She has acquired experience during several decades of Business Development at big industrial corporations working in high-technology fields. She is ambitious and imaginative, with extensive international experience, with proven, lasting results within a broad range of industrial solutions, projects, and ventures. During her career, she has developed, planned, and executed a number of successful change projects, to all of which she has contributed significantly to global growth and profitability. Raffaella Grassi implements a strict excellence-based strategy while developing a business using an easy understanding of complex concepts and problems, and converting analysis, solutions, and ideas into logical, quick, and durable strategies.