Without trust, people will not take the initiative, small problems will fester into crises to be bucked up the chain for solution, and decision cycle speed will slow to a crawl. A culture with low levels of trust also produces enormous stresses on the people within it and can greatly increase the severity of battlefield traumas. All of this suggests that trust is fundamental to any high performing organization. This section looks at the roots of trust, what causes it to deteriorate, and how it can be restored.

Aristotle’s Rhetoric as a Handbook of Leadership,” Lecture to the US Military Academy by Dr. Jonathan Shay (Author’s comment: The connection to trust? The key word in the Rhetoric is pistis, which a lot of translators turn into a tormented piece of jargon, e.g., “the available means of persuasion,” but to the man on the street in 4th C. Athens this word was simply the everyday word for “trust.”) Several other selections by Dr. Shay on trust are available at

Achilles in Vietnam. Dr. Shay’s classic study of trust. (link points to the review)