Can you respect someone you don’t trust? Can you trust someone you don’t respect? Maybe these two go hand-in-hand. How important are they to you, gearhead?
I tend to read a few business books during the year. One of my favorites of all time is How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything by Dov Seidman*. A major premise in the book is that, these days, there are so many people doing similar things, one of the best ways to stand out from the competition is to focus on HOW you do things.
Think about all the online car magazines we visit. That story about Fiat and Mazda teaming up to develop a small convertible sports car like the Spider? Did you see it yet? Where did you see it? A quick Google shows the story ran on The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Jalopnik, Motor Trend, and about 1,750,000 other websites in the last 24 hours. Why did you read about it where you did?
Think about all those re-posts on our home forums. In those relatively smaller communities, the first thread about the subject is the one with all the replies and anyone else who shares the same thing gets all the re-post comments. But what if the person who posts the link is a random newbie nobody knows? Versus the guy everyone on the board everyone knows to share cool stuff? Why do we click on one person’s thread before someone else’s?
Something else to think about, there are currently more than 7 BILLION people on this planet. That means that, if each of us is one-in-a-million, that means there’s 7,000 other people exactly like us. So let’s get back to trust and respect. In that book I mentioned above, Seidman mentions the concept of TRIPs. This is so simple. Check it out.
- TRUST – When we trust the people around us to have our backs, we are more comfortable taking
- RISKS – Would you have started pulling your first engine without people online to help you out?
- INNOVATION – Every awesome idea was discovered because someone took a chance.
- PROGRESS – Every platform advances because of innovation.
If you don’t trust me, you’re not going to share your latest tips and tricks with me. Maybe there’s a chance I’ll screw something up, blow my engine, and blame you. Maybe I’ll get cocky and take all the credit for how well my car runs. The amount of personal risk we’re willing to take is directly related to how much we trust others. I one time offered to lend a buddy a complete long block to get his car on the road, but only because I knew I could trust the guy to return it in as good or better condition, if not replace it as agreed in advance.
To some people, it’s more important. (Sorry. You know I had to.) As gearheads, we could go on for days talking about respect – what it looks like, how it’s earned, how it’s lost. I think it’s important that we at least keep it in mind. It’s important we respect each other. We’ve come a long way from the early days of online automotive community, when everyone made fun of everyone who was into something different.
Some of the things we pointed our fingers and laughed at clearly deserved such, but I think we’re all clear now that “rice” isn’t exclusive to dropouts and chavs in imports (as the hideous Dodge Viper pictured above should demonstrate). We grew up looking for how everyone is different. Different people doing different things with different vehicles and, since we didn’t know them, we didn’t trust them.
Today, we’ve grown up to realize there’s more power in seeing the ways we’re all the same. We respect those who turn their own wrenches and help others do the same. If we respect our fellow gearheads, we should also trust them. Because, when we trust each other – when we have each others’ backs – we can take the calculated risks that lead to the new connections and ideas (innovation) that help us go faster, turn harder, climb higher (progress).
That’s how we build high performance machines & lives. That’s why we at Gearbox Magazine and Gearheads-United try so hard to share stories of regular Joes. We respect the gearhead and want the rest of the world to respect the gearhead too. We hope you’ll continue to trust us to do our best at showing the world how much the gearheads matter.
* (That’s an affiliate link up there, by the way. If you buy the book, we make, like, US$1 – and we’d appreciate that.)
- Is trust GIVEN or EARNED?
- How is respect lost? Can it be found again?