The Five Tenets of Trust



What Shooting Through Rapids Taught Me About Trust!
By Lea Brovedani “The Trust Architect”


BIG BLEND RADIO INTERVIEW: On this episode, trust expert Lea Brovedani discusses the Five Tenets of Trust, a main focus in her latest book, “Trust Me: Restore Belief & Confidence in an Uncertain World.” Listen or download the podcast on,,, and

I can still remember the sound of the water and the muffled laugher of birds as they flew overhead. What fools they must have thought of us as we whooped and hollered on our rafts as we cut through the rapids.

I experienced the profound trust of a group that cared deeply about each other and felt the peace and serenity of nature on a white water rafting trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.  From heart-pounding roller coaster twists and turns to leisurely floating, to hikes up narrow paths that hugged cliff edges, the trip provided a lesson in trust that still resonates to this day.

The guides were all young professionals and were bemused when one of the guests asked, “When were they going to get a real job?”  To them and to most of us, this was as real as it gets.

They took us down rapids with names like Lava Falls, Redneck Falls, and Bedrock Falls that were wild, wet and quite wonderful. Each of them let us know through words and deeds that they cared about our safety and in providing us with a wonderful and safe experience. Day after day they were consistent in following safety protocols and not one of us dared to go through a rapid without our helmets and life jackets on. They expected us to be as committed to safety as they were.

I trusted them and I also learned that the most important person to trust was myself. If I didn’t feel like I could handle scaling the steep incline to get to a high lookout point, I was expected to step up and speak out.

How can you truly trust another person if you can’t trust your own judgment on whether or not to trust? It’s a classic Catch 22 named after a movie which referred to an Air Force rule whereby a pilot continuing to fly combat missions without asking for relief is regarded as insane but is considered sane enough to continue flying if he does make such a request.

For the full 18 days of our time together I saw my 5 Tenets of Trust playing out.

According to the dictionary definition, a tenet is the main principle on which a theory or belief is based.



The tenets of a theory or belief are the main principles on which it is based.


– You treat people with respect.

– You treat people as individuals and not as a commodity or convenience.
– You use mistakes as learning opportunities and not as weapons.
– You show your authentic self to others.
– You accept people at face value.
– You get to know them at a personal level.

– You keep your word no matter what. If you can’t, then you ask to be released from the obligation.

– You commit to be excellent in all you do. But first, you know what that means and can explain it to others.
– You are committed to open and honest behavior.

– Your words and deeds match.

– You live by a code of conduct.
– Everyone knows what you stand for because you consistently show up in an honest and open manner.
– Who you are at work or play is consistent.

– You believe in continual learning.

– You have the skills to achieve what is expected of you.
– You know how to resolve mistakes and never make excuses.

– You have real conversations, not scripted, phony read-by-the-rule-book ones.

– Your communication is effective and transparent.
– You are direct and to the point.
– Your first line of communication in emotional conversations is face to face. If that is not possible because of distance, then video conferencing or phone.
– You see how relationships are a reflection of how you communicate and treat others.
– You admit mistakes quickly and apologize.

They all work together, and when all the tenets align, the result is perfect trust. It wasn’t a surprise that after spending all of that time getting to know our guides and fellow travellers that 5 years later we still like and trust each other. When you live the five tenets of trust, deep relationships happen.

Lea Brovedani is an author and speaker who is one of North America’s leading experts on trust. She has been named Top Thought Leaders on Trust for 2017, 2018 , 2019, and 2020 by the organization Trust Across America. She is also the author of “TRUST Me – Restore Belief & Confidence in an Uncertain World” and “TRUSTED – Secret Lessons from an Inspired Leader,” is a contributing author in four other books and various business magazines around the world.

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About the Author:

Lea Brovedani is an author and speaker who is one of North America’s leading experts on trust. She has been named Top Thought Leaders on Trust for 2017, 2018 , 2019, and 2020 by the organization Trust Across America.

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