Immy & Lisa: The Pyramid of Trust

Dear Construction Nation,

This week I had the opportunity to interview Immy Tariq and Lisa Fei, the Wall Street Journal bestselling co-authors of The Pyramid of Trust: How to Create Certainty in an Uncertainty World. Both are serial entrepreneurs, and focus mostly on teaching people to build trust in yourself, your employees, and your customers.

Most contractors are highly entrepreneurial. That is one of the things I really love about construction. You can be highly successful as a result of your own tenacity, hard work, and maybe some good luck! What Immy and Lisa talk about is how to create trust when there is uncertainty. Surely everyone of you can relate to that.

In their book, they identified four levels of trust:

1.   Blind Trust: The complete or near-complete suspension of reason, with no guarantee of return. This can lead to impractical, impulsive actions.

2.   Authoritative Trust: This is the realm of celebrity, public figures, experts, and influencers. Here you trust, because there is a public trust in this person, but your values must also align.

3.   Professional or Public Trust: This is about investing yourself into this person. It must include logic regarding this person’s worthiness for the investment of your time, money, endorsement, etc. You want to know their values, track record, what the return can be, their image, and reputation all comes into play.

4.   Interpersonal Trust: This refers to friendships, family, and romantic relationships. This takes consistency and a good track record. It can be hard to rebuild trust once lost in an interpersonal relationship. 

Lisa and Immy also identify five conditions necessary to build trust at any of the four levels above. These represent an ongoing effort to work to build a bond of trust. 

1.   Competency

2.   Credibility

3.   Compassion

4.   Communication

5.   Consistency

Immy and Lisa both mentioned that without TRUST you can’t succeed. And with trust it is a mental short cut and great way to speed the decision-making process, so people don’t stop and engage in analysis paralysis. 

Ways to keep your good employees is so important today, with so many people choosing to leave their jobs. Here are three pieces of advice from Immy and Lisa.

First, Care. Ask questions so you really get to know each person. What are their strengths. What is meaningful to them? Not everyone wants the same things.

Second, put the Right Person in the right seat. Match personality to the role. Make sure it is something where they can buy into the vision. Different people have a different capacity for uncertainty, so you must match that with the job.

Third, get people to take Ownership of the outcomes. This naturally occurs when you align people’s ability to what is needed so they can thrive and take ownership.

For people outside the business/organization, such as vendors and customers, you want to stand out. Immy likes the “purple cow” approach, where you work to stand out from everyone in your market by building strong relationships. Lisa suggested that you could use the five love languages to try and better give your vendors, customers (and employees) what they need and what they respond to.

The Five Love Languages are

Words of Affirmation

Acts of Service

Receiving Gifts

Quality Time

Physical Touch


Probably a good thing to know, and maybe not appropriate for all workplace relationships. But definitely a great thing to know for your home life. 😊

I love that we are seeing more books come out about Trust, and more research is happening. It is important to grow TRUST, and for those leaders who learn how to build a high trust team and business, there is no doubt that you be highly sought after. 

Have a great week Construction Nation,

P.S.  Curious how you can improve your project’s chance at success?

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