Blake Hall: Being a Trustworthy Dude is Good Business

July 17, 2013

1:00 pm

When I was in college, I had the fortunate opportunity to live within a “community of trust,” grounded by a deeply ingrained school honor system. People would literally leave their laptops at the library for hours knowing that they would still be there when they returned. This one time, I lost my wallet, and it was promptly returned to me with all the cash and cards still intact; I made a new friend out of that situation. Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t operate under the same principle, but rather has an inherent tendency toward skepticism and mistrust.

There is a dearth of trust in corporate America – both from an external standpoint and within a company itself. In 2012, Gallup found that confidence in various public and private institutions either remained constant or decreased, with trust in small business at 63 percent and big business at 21 percent. Within a company itself, a 2012 Trust in Business survey showed that only 27 percent of respondents had a “high level of trust in management and the organization.”

In business, though, trust is necessary in every aspect of the operation. Whether it’s building trust with your client, your employees, or your external and internal partners, trust is absolutely essential in strengthening your current relationships and creating new relationships to support your business in the long run.

For Blake Hall, cofounder and CEO of TroopSwap, trust and his ability to garner that trust with others is what – he believes – has led to his business successes. An Army veteran who previously led a platoon in Iraq, that trait was absolutely essential in his military experience, where lives literally depended on the trust between him and his fellow soldiers.

Outside of the military, Hall has leveraged his trustworthiness to create and develop business relationships that have helped him catapult (previously Troop ID) and TroopSwap, as well as develop K Street Capital, a DC-based angel network.

Here he is talking about how to be a good, trustworthy dude, and how it paid off for him:

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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