Tag Archives: Trust

How much do you trust that person?

Th: Jefferson … returns him Govr. Mc.kean’s letter;  … [the content of the original accusation] was so little noted that neither the person, nor manner can now be recollected …Th:J. has been entirely on his guard against these idle tales, and considers Govr. Mc.kean’s life & principles as sufficient evidence of their falsehood, and that he may be perfectly assured that no such insinuations have or can make an impression on his mind to the Governor’s disadvantage.
To Henry Dearborn, February 13, 1804

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Principled leaders affirm other principled leaders.
A letter by someone unidentified claimed that Pennsylvania’s Governor McKean was heading a group to oppose President Jefferson’s re-election. McKean denied the charge but was concerned to learn the rumor was circulating in the nation’s capital.

McKean wrote an impassioned letter to Dearborn, Jefferson’s Secretary of War, perhaps knowing Dearborn would share the denial with the President. Dearborn did just that, and Jefferson laid the matter to rest for both men with this reply:
1. He was somewhat aware of the original accusation but paid so little attention to it that he could no longer remember the accuser or the details of the charge.
2. He was “entirely on his guard against these idle tales.”
3. Gov. McKean’s “life & principles” rendered this accusation baseless.
4. Nothing past, present or future would alter his confidence in McKean.

Thank you for, yet another, outstanding performance.”
President, Missouri Valley Adult Education Association
Schedule an outstanding presentation for your audience.
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Do you make it easy for others to rely on you?

you see how I grow upon your goodness: but it is so frank [generous]that one cannot but grow on it. I do not foresee however that I shall impose upon it but once more. that will be by & bye, when I am ready at Monticello for carpets. the handsomest I ever saw was on your floor … were mrs Edwards or yourself in traversing Philadelphia ever to have your eye caught by any as handsome as that, I should surely ask you to arrest it for me.
To Enoch Edwards, May 7, 1801

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Leaders need honest friends they can trust completely.
In a previous post, Jefferson commissioned Edwards, a Philadelphia-area physician, to arrange for a carriage to be made for him. Earlier in this letter, he asked Edwards to stop in at a certain art dealer’s shop and inquire about the price of a Samuel Adams portrait there. (Chances are Jefferson subsequently acquired that portrait, but I can’t say for sure.)

Now, Jefferson expressed his growing appreciation for his Revolutionary War era friend and fellow patriot. He was drawn in by the man’s openness and honesty. Edwards made it easy for others to rely on his judgment.

Not wanting to abuse the relationship, Jefferson asked only one last favor. If Edwards or his wife ever happened to find carpets in Philadelphia as “handsome” as the ones he had seen in their home, they were to “arrest” (buy) them for him. Such was his confidence in them, Jefferson didn’t need to know the price or give prior approval.

“The performance was most enjoyable … “
President, Jefferson College
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How to bring unity out of conflict, Part 1 of 3

I received one day a note from the Marquis de la Fayette, informing me that he should bring a party of six or eight friends to ask a dinner of me the next day … These were leading patriots, of honest but differing opinions sensible of the necessity of effecting a coalition by mutual sacrifices, knowing each other, and not afraid therefore to unbosom themselves mutually. This last was a material principle in the selection …
Autobiography, 1821

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Leaders need privacy, trust and encouragement to speak openly.
The French national assembly needed to make a proposal to the King regarding future governance. With too many competing interests, they were unable to reach an agreement. This post and the next two will highlight essential principles in bringing unity out of conflict.
1. One person took the lead.
2. A neutral meeting place was chosen by the leader.
3. An uninvolved individual facilitated the gathering.
4. The meeting began with a meal.
5. The attendees were all influential leaders.
6. They were honest patriots committed to a common cause.
7. Although they differed, they understood a unified coalition was essential.
8. Each man would have to give up something to create that coalition.
9. They knew one another well enough to be able to speak freely.

Others might have been invited except for # 9: Familiarity with one another, and the resulting trust that came with it, allowed the risk-taking necessary to speak honestly. This was essential if there was to be any chance of success.

“The manner in which you tailored your comments …
made your presentation all the more meaningful.”
Executive Director, Indiana Association of Counties
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