The desperate need of trustworthiness of our institutions
|July 27, 2016||Posted by Assegid under Africa, Communication, Ethiopia, Human Rights, Leadership, Politics, Self Awareness, Self Management, Updates, Values & Character||
Have you thought about the credibility of our Ethiopian institutions? How much do you trust our community organizations, political parties, religious organizations, and businesses? As a society, our future is dependent on the credibility of our institutions?
Of course, some are highly trustworthy while some may not be so. Unfortunately, we don’t have ample public data to analyze and recognize the level of trust of each major institution we have. Right now, as it occurred to me, we only depend on two sources. These are: knowing the institutions personally. Second, word of mouth- testimonials from others.
I wish we have a third option, third parties that measure the trustworthiness of our institutions and report it on a consistent basis- quarterly, bi-annually, or at least, yearly.
Let me give you a personal example. A couple of months ago, I stroke a conversation with an activist who closely follow political news. By the way, I don’t normally follow news very closely. Whenever I do, I don’t compare and double check figures (I just spilled out one of my weaknesses, oops!)
He shared with me his frustration in terms of whom to trust when it comes to numbers in a news. He shared, “Assegid, you might have already familiar with this. The government news media always under report causalities. If 100 people died during a clash between police and protesters, they may report 50 causalities.”
He then singled out an independent media in the diaspora (I’m not specifying whether this media is a print media or a website or a radio or a TV station, use your own imagination 🙂 and told me that this media exaggerates. “You know XXX media. But do you know that they lie about numbers?” My response was no; I didn’t know, and I was wondering why they should lie about numbers. He continued, “For that the same incident, they may report 150 causalities.”
And, I asked him how he copes with these kinds of huge discrepancies. He confessed, “I add the figures from the two sources and take the average.”
What an innovative approach 🙂 lol It made me crack and laugh momentarily but I felt ashamed. We need trustworthy institutions. We don’t need to go a very troubling length to know the truth about what is going on back home.
As I study leaders, organizations, and businesses that are successful and also those that failed and disappeared from the map, one of the key differentiating factors is trust. When we lose trust individually or institutionally, we’re gone. If not immediately, at the end of the day.
Therefore, if you’re a leader of one of our institutions, please push for trustworthiness. No organization survives and excels without the foundation of trust in place.
It may take sometime, once enough people figure out that your institution isn’t credible, kiss yourself good bye. Your institution exists on borrowed time. You should know that when trust is eroded, nothing worthy is left to hold on to. When this value of trust is missing, it finally sabotages the success of the end goal.
What’s sad is that those who fight tyranny and injustice, deliberately or inadvertently, undermine the importance of trust by being over zealous. They innocently or ignorantly think that over inflating information accelerates their cause. It’s a miscalculation, worst gambling. Hope, those who over exaggerate things come to their senses and reintroduce themselves as credible so that they become trustworthy and finally command the following of their fans, supporters, and audience…
On the other hand, if you are leading a trustworthy organization, congrats! This one attribute alone will take you far. You understood one of the crucial ingredients for lasting success, and this knowledge and your efforts to make your institution trustworthy, will going to pay you back GREATLY at the end of the day. We’re proud of you and your team! Keep up the good work!
In the meantime, let’s encourage and incentivize those trustworthy institutions we have at hand while making accountable those that are not yet. Let’s do what we could and wherever we are. We need as many trustworthy institutions as possibly to tackle the challenges our country face, and come out alive, and even strong and successful the other side. Let’s play our part…