A plethora of books explore the importance of trust. Business at the Speed of Trust is just one of the better ones. Historical lecture series on the origins of humanity often point to ‘trust’ as one of the necessary conditions for civilisational advancement. In my book, ‘They’re Your Rules, Break Them!’, I observe that where trust exists on the basis of dependable excellence, rules can be relaxed, often to the point of removal.

We might argue that the Biblical story of Joseph is the original template for this much-admired quality; Joseph continually repays trust with excellence, and repeatedly advances to positions of leadership as a result. The Old Testament makes it clear that this is a trait to be valued and emulated.

And so, a quick test: What could you ‘get away with’ in your business? What are the areas that are not seen, not checked, not monitored? Where are the grey spot where you might exploit without fear of discovery?

Do you choose to?

Choosing not to do so is the foundational principle of trust. When you are not viewed, but do the right thing for your clients anyway, you become trustworthy, and that is no small thing. This conscious choice is the basis of all civilisation, and a necessary condition for advancement, both for humanity, and for your personal career.

Actively identifying the areas in which you can ‘get away with things,’ and then making the choice not to, is a defining trait of true professionals, and of excellent individuals in general.

Become dependable in the absence of observation, and therefore trusted beyond suspicion, and like Joseph, you could create unstoppable upward momentum. The position of Viceroy to Pharaoh may no longer be an option. But you might still own your industry.

Douglas Kruger is a bestselling author and professional speaker. Meet him at www.douglaskruger.com