The 10 Laws of Trust: Building Trust in a Fast-Paced World


"The 10 Laws of Trust: Building the Bonds That Make a Business Great" is a guide to the mechanics of trust. Trust is so integral to our everyday life that we fail to notice it until it's too late. This book guides leaders and board members in laying out and exceeding the expectations of trust so they can run a high-trust and successful business.

The 10 Laws of Trust: Building Trust in a Fast-Paced World

If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

“We take trust for granted, not conscious of how it pervades relationships,” writes Joel Peterson in The 10 Laws of Trust: Building the Bonds That Make a Business Great

As Joel Peterson wisely points out in his new book The 10 Laws of Trust: Building the Bonds That Make a Business Great, trust is required in every type of relationship we engage in at the checkout counter, board room, or the kitchen table. Yet, trust between consumers and business is at an all-time low, despite all the talk about “customer service” and “relationship-building”.


What is The 10 Laws of Trust About

The 10 Laws of Trust breaks down trust and how it should be used to create a high-trust environment. The paradox is that most of us think we know what trust is. This is why businesses feel so comfortable using the word “trust”. They expect to know what it is.

The problem is that businesses often run auto-pilot in regards to trust. Because businesses assume they know what trust is and consumers assume they know it, everyone carries on. Businesses create policies and consumers shop for products … until an Enron or Volkswagen scandal shakes up our ignorance.

The path out of this ignorance is a willingness to truly understand trust, something The 10 Laws of Trust tries to do for business leaders who want to establish a high-trust business. The book argues that building that high-trust business starts at the foundation with leadership. Leaders who can be trusted set the tone directly (through policies, budgets, and actions) and indirectly (through their own personal lives) for a business. They are the people that keeping businesses running, even when the spotlight isn’t on them.

From this analysis of trust-based leadership, Joel Peterson extracts 10 laws that he feels exemplify a trust-based leader and business. These laws are stunningly simple (For example, “Keep everyone informed”); however, in practice they aren’t followed. How many companies do you know have policies that require employees to sign off a form for almost every decision they make? How many companies have private meetings or fail to disclose information to the public or employees? This is what Peterson means. Trust is not just a five-letter word. It’s something that you work out and craft like any other part of your business.

Joel Peterson is the Chairman of Jet Blue Airways, a consulting professor at Stanford, and founding partner of Peterson Partners (PPLP), an investment firm managing over half a billion dollars in assets.

What Was Best About The 10 Laws of Trust

The best part of The 10 Laws of Trust is the straightforward way that Peterson deals with the vague concept of “trust”. Rather than engaging in academic “marketing speak”, Peterson breaks down trust into concrete laws and provides simple examples to back up his laws. For people who are tired of reading vague articles about ethics and responsibility, this book should be a nice break.

What Could Have Been Done Differently

The downside of the general and broad nature of The 10 Laws of Trust is that the focus is on principle rather than specific strategies. Recommendations are provided throughout the book; however the book leaves it up to the reader to figure out how to implement them. To provide an example, the book asks readers to be more transparent in budgets and provides examples of big companies (like Zappos) that do. The book doesn’t get involved in the decisions about what to make transparent and how for a specific type of industry or business.

Why Read The 10 Laws of Trust

If your business is suffering from a lack of mission or you just want to ramp up the relationships in your business, The 10 Laws of Trust is perfect for upper-level management and executives who need the inspiration (along with some broad recommendations) to do it. The book is good for any type of leader (on a personal or private level) but the content (style, language, and tone) is geared for the leader (s) who has the authority to implement big changes.

Get discounts and special offers on new and classic business books with an Audible Premium Plus membership. Learn more and sign up for an account today.

Charles Franklin Charles Franklin is a Book Reviewer for Small Business Trends. He has a background as a professional reviewer, and is also a content provider and customer relations professional.