Performance Management Blog

Moron the Issue of Trust – The Residue of Promises

Interesting conversations, we can have online and even occasionally on the telephone (Yes, I still have one of those things that other people seem to only use for texting these days!)

On talking on the phone about my Square Wheels Puppies Cartoon with an associate, the cute little puppies totally distracted her from the issue at hand, and that was the main thought about people and performance and about things that do not work smoothly.

Square Wheels One Puppies Cartoon about people and performance

She likes puppies so much she missed my key point, which I will spell out since probably more than half of the people who see this cartoon will also miss it!

The wagon leader is isolated by the rope. The wagon pushers cannot see where they are going. The wagon is thumping and bumping along, just like usual. I mean, can’t we make some changes to improve how things work?

This all started with a discussion around Frank Navran’s quote,

Trust is the residue
of promises fulfilled.

My same puppy-loving friend also thought that maybe the word residue might be kinda bad and that maybe the word results might be substituted.

Trust is the result
of promises fulfilled.

Really? Result? Nah. That is just too bland, too vanilla. I think cotton candy and merry-go-rounds. I think “Barney.” I think soap bubbles. Nah, I don’t want some softball association between trust and promises and behavior — it is just too darn critically important. We want Charles Bronson or Dirty Harry impact here — not some Teletubby character:

teletubvy characters

We want Guns ‘N Roses, Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly and Bruce Springsteen, not Lawrence Welk or John Denver. We want IMPACT — we want to anchor people’s attention and focus. We want Heavy Metal, not casual listening…

So, I think residue is a great word. It’s got emotion and character, like an old bathtub. It’s got visual kinesthetic association to something real and tangible:


Trust is easily wiped away; and workplace trust is probably far easier to dissolve than the ring on a tub.

It doesn’t take a lot of special cleanser or elbow grease — all it takes is a careless moment when behavior misaligns with the expectations. Poof!

Trust has huge impacts on the results of organizations. Results are dramatically affected by trust and behavior. You can see some of those statistics on The Hard Costs of Low Trust or even this blog on organizational sabotage and some of its causes and solutions.

What do you think? Results or Residue?

And it is also good to remember that it IS about behavior. Remember that we judge ourselves by our intentions but we can only judge others by the behavior we observe.

I also thought that this one was cute:

Beware of Dog and Cat

Anyway, DO what you can.
And have FUN out there and get things DONE!

Santa ScottDr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.

Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott at

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Scott’s blog on Poems and Quips on Workplace Improvement is here.

Dr. Scott Simmerman

Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of the amazing Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine team building game and the Square Wheels facilitation and engagement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced global presenter. -- You can reach Scott at and a detailed profile is here: -- Scott is the original designer of The Search for The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine teambuilding game and the Square Wheels® images for organizational development.

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    • Dr. Scott Simmerman

      I guess, but I then also wonder if The Boss is friendly with Gov. Christie and what he knew and when he knew it. As Jon Stewart said on his show a couple of days ago, the motto of NJ seems to be, “It’s a death trap. It’s a suicide rap. We gotta get out while we’re young…” and there are only a few ways out. Yeah, there is a trust thing in that, too! (grin)


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