In our house, we call the month of May, Mayhem.

It’s the end of school, the middle of the 2nd quarter, the rainy season, and the edge of summer. Both home and work serve up mayhem – good and evil.

Mayhem has been faithful to its definition this year. Thankfully it’s over. What happened this May-hem?

When opening my car door one fine day in May, the handle came off in my hand. No, I’m not that strong. Nothing more fun than opening your front door via the back door for a while.

I parked the mini-van in an unfortunate spot at the baseball park in a hurry for my youngest’s game. Someone hit a Mark McGuire dinger and cracked our windshield. Our puppy also decided to chew through some wiring which happens to be the airbag sensor. Who knew that two wires cost that much to repair?!?

And that’s just the cars …


It’s good things too. My eldest son started a new job at a senior living community as a server. School ended to everyone’s delight. If you have a spouse that works in education like mine, there is a flurry of activity ending the school year and then – summer spouse. (Dude – summer spouse. Ask someone about it. Like butter.)


Work is similar. We’re currently launching a new team in Kansas City; our new Front Range Regional President, Steve Van Diest, is launching our first Acumen team in Denver. We hosted our quarterly all-community event and just launched our new website debuting a new brand (check it out!).


Oh, and now do you mask, not mask? Is there a sign in the window or not? Am I doing this for others or is it time to show no more fear? Let’s get political about health again – really again?


Gee Dan, that’s nice … I guess. Good on you, sounds like all our lives.

Yes, thanks for pointing that out, so let’s build on that thought.

The fastest way to build trust is during a crisis.


I know, left turn. Stick with me.

We hosted David Horsager, CEO of The Trust Edge Leadership Institute, at our all-community Advance Leadership Workshop in May. He spoke about his new book, Trusted Leader: The 8 pillars of trust, how leaders build it, lose it, and get it back.

The book is a must-read and the eight pillars are worth talking about in your leadership team. A few nuggets I took away from the session:

  • The root issue is always trust.

It’s true. When you look at any issue in your company – especially all those people problems, it always comes down to trust – or the lack thereof. The technical and strategic side of business is not hard. It takes work, but you’ll figure out the how. The people part is hard all the time. Create more trust, build a better company.

  • A lack of trust is your biggest expense.

David’s simple example – How long does it take you to type an email to someone you trust? Not long. I know that nothing will be misread or if it is, we’ll have a quick convo about it. Now, how long does it take to write an email to someone you don’t trust? A loooooong time, with multiple edits.

A lack of trust kills output, morale, retention, productivity, innovation, loyalty, and revenue. It increases costs, problems, skepticism, attrition, time to market, and stress.

  • The fastest way to build trust is in a crisis.

Mayhem is a spicy example of a month with extra good/bad stress that helps build or lose trust with my family and our company. The truth is, every month has its crisis.

Use monthly Mayhem as your best way to build more trust in your company and life.

How would you rate yourself on these 8 pillars of trust?

Clarity: Leaders who are ambiguous and overly complex lose trust.

Compassion: Leaders who lack empathy are just as dangerous as those who are overly critical.

Character: A lack of integrity undermines the ability to grow a culture of trust.

Competency: Leaders who don’t stay relevant or pivot lose trust.

Commitment: Leaders who selfishly make decisions crumble in adversity.

Connection: Isolation and siloing loses trust, and the lack of connection is magnified during crisis.

Contribution: Leaders who don’t deliver results, lose.

Consistency: Leaders lose trust with flip-flopping, indecision, and unpredictability.

Source: The 2021 Trust Outlook: Executive Edition