Marcus Buckingham, from First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently:
And what of the notion that “trust must be earned”? Sensible though it may sound, great managers reject it.
They know that if, fundamentally, you don’t trust people, then there is no line, no point in time, beyond which people become suddenly trustworthy. Mistrust concerns the future. If you are innately skeptical of other people’s motives, then no amount of good behavior in the past will ever truly convince you that they are not just about to disappoint you. Suspicion is a permanent condition.
Of course, occasionally, a person will indeed let you down. But great managers, like Michael, the restaurant manager from the introduction, are wired to view this as the exception rather than the rule. They believe that if you expect the best from people, then more often than not the best is what you get.
Innate mistrust is probably vital for some roles — lawyering or investigative reporting, for example. But for a manager, it is deadly.