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Simon Optimism Press

Commit A Letter from Simon Sinek

Why I Published "Trust First"

The vision is clear: to build a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single morning inspired, feel safe at work, and return home fulfilled at the end of the day. I believe the best way to build the world I imagine is with leaders. Good leaders. Great leaders. And so, I’ve devoted my professional life to finding, building, and supporting the leaders who are committed to leading in a way that will more likely bring that vision to life.

Unfortunately, the practice of leadership is so misunderstood. It has nothing to do with rank. It has nothing to do with authority. Those things may come with a leadership position and they may help a leader operate with greater efficiency and at greater scale, but those things alone do not define a leader.

Leadership is not about being in charge; it’s about taking care of those in our charge. It is about creating an environment in
which people can rise to their natural best. It is a distinctly human endeavor. None of us is an expert in leadership. The practice of leadership is a journey and we are all students. Therefore, it is our collective responsibility to share the lessons, tools, and ideas that are helping each of us to become the leaders we wish we had so that others may benefit. Trust First is one of those ideas.

When I first heard Bruce Deel’s story, I was left speechless. He has an ability to trust in a way that I have never seen before. He is willing to extend trust to people who most of society has deemed untrustworthy. Bruce and his wife let drug addicts into their home. They let prostitutes babysit their children. For any parent reading this, simply reading those words likely sends shivers down your spine. However, by learning to trust first, Bruce has been able to help transform people’s lives in ways few could have imagined.

This was the reason I wanted to share Bruce’s story with as many people as possible. Though I do not expect many people to extend trust in the extreme way in which Bruce does, his story proves the transformative power of trust and how we can all work on better trusting the people in our lives.

Too many of us treat trust like a valuable asset that must be guarded. Something we can give away only after someone has proved themselves worthy. Bruce shatters that assumption. If we can all learn to take the risk to trust first, it will give those around us permission to believe in themselves and their abilities in the most remarkable way. And if people can learn to trust in themselves, they will also learn to trust others in a deeper way. The result of which helps build stronger, more powerful and, indeed, more trusting teams.

Enjoy Bruce’s story for what it is: remarkable. And as you read, take notes on the underlying lessons we can all learn about the transformative power of trust.

Trust first and inspire on!

- Simon Sinek