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Built on Trust

(Contemporary Books, 215 pages, $24.95)

Reviewed by Ellen Pack
Founder, Women.com

What to Avoid
Six types of corporate muck

In 1994, Women.com was ready to attempt the impossible: to build an Internet company serving women. Since virtually no women were online at the time, all we had to do first was raise the capital, build the market and prove the business model. Enter Arky Ciancutti, a team-building coach who began working with us that pivotal year.

Built On Trust
Buy the book!

The valuable lesson Ciancutti taught Women.com then—and that we still live by today—is that trust is the most powerful tool an organization can use to achieve its vision and serve the audience, employees, customers and shareholders.

In Ciancutti's model, "trust" is not just a touchy-feely topic that MBAs (such as myself) might get a 30-minute lecture on at business school. Instead, trust is a priceless commodity. Without trust, simple fears, poor communication and many other natural human emotions can be your biggest obstacles to achieving business success and will inevitably land you in the dreaded "muck"—serving the hierarchy or other false icons that keep you from your customer and from profitability.

But if you trade in trust, you can leverage not just the visible structure of your organization, but what Ciancutti describes as the "invisible emotional dynamics that are always in play when people work together." Better communication, better product, better bottom line.

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