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Trust Me?

If employees can't answer "yes," this book can help you.

Time was, you could assume you had the trust of the people who worked in your company. Today, thanks to a succession of high-profile business scandals, that's no longer true, say Robert Galford and Anne Seibold Drapeau in The Trusted Leader: Bringing Out the Best in Your People & Your Company (Free Press). Now you have to work to earn trust. And you should, because it can be the difference between an excellent organization and an inadequate one.

Galford and Drapeau take a highly practical approach to helping you remain--or become--a trusted leader. They provide a formula for building trust, offer a self-assessment quiz and give guidance on regaining broken trust, among other topics. Their self-assessment consists of 20 questions dealing with such issues as how quickly conflicts are resolved and hoxw often you praise people, and includes a guide to interpreting results.

Their advice, while sympathetic to leaders who feel distrusted, is often hard-nosed. For instance, those who have lost trust are told to quickly and publicly take responsibility for any errors they make. Want to know more? You can take the self-assessment test online and pick up additional tips at

For Future Reference

In Tomorrow Now: Envisioning the Next Fifty Years (Random House), science fiction novelist Bruce Sterling reveals his nonfiction vision of the future. The result is often as quirky and imaginative as you'd expect. Among his prognostications: No need for refrigerators to keep food from rotting, because we'll be able to control all the microorganisms in our kitchens. Unrealistic? Maybe, but Sterling often exhibits a razor-sharp realism, as in a chapter where about the nature of customer commitment, the role of contracts and the fluctuating value of information. The result is a stimulating mix of unfettered speculation and insightful extrapolation, and a model of the future with a difference.

Austin, Texas, writer Mark Henricks has covered business and technology for leading publications since 1981.

This story appears in the February 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »