Trust In Action

In ancient Greece and most importantly politics, Solon realized how hard it was to please everyone.

“In great affairs you cannot please all parties.” – Solon

Regardless of the difficulty, he tried to establish laws that Athenians could work together to follow.

But trust is not blindly given. It is earned. It is earned through virtue in action. Despite Solon’s ability to be a good listener and a life-long learner, Greece struggled with the laws discussed in the assembly.

“In Greece, wise men spoke on public affairs, but fools decided them.” – Anacharsis

In business, and especially diligence activities, trust is critical.

Do you trust people to hit their deadlines? Do you trust the other party in the transaction? Do you trust you know enough of the future to plan for downside risks? Trust is earned through actions. Actions are a collection of experience and reflection.

Pericles, who ruled much later in Greece, tried to instill a sense of civic duty while still serving as the military’s commander-in-chief for at least nine battles. He played a key role in the early years of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BCE), a multi-decade conflict between Athens and Sparta.

He was known for both his calm endurance and his greatness of spirit.

Plutarch admired the actions of Pericles:

“We find these examples in the actions of good men, which implant an eager rivalry and a keen desire to imitate them in the minds of those who have sought them out.” – Plutarch, Lives – Pericles

He called it “virtue in action.” He saw Pericles as a “doer.”

Think how tough trust can be in our modern world. Too many people say one thing, yet do another.

Pericles was a trusted leader in Greece. Not only was he a man of action, but he was thoughtful, he was steadfast, he was immune to the insults. The people trusted him to do what was best.

Others do not respond or simply forget about the commitments they made.

We worship busyness like it is a religion, instead of just taking care of business.

In our modern world ideas are rampant while actions are scarce.

Intentions do not help get you through diligence. Actions do.

So the next time you are working under a tight deadline, remember trust is earned through diligent actions. Learn to be a doer. Learn virtue in action.

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