Cricket fans across the country are devastated following today’s news that Kevin Pietersen will not be reinstated for England this summer following a massive ‘trust issue’ with Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss. The dilemma of what to do with a highly talented employee who repeatedly fails to inspire trust is a familiar one.
I wonder what I would have done in Strauss’s position. How long should we continue to nurture extraordinary talents, whilst tolerating indiscretions? When the trust has gone, when is it time to call it ‘over’ (pun intended!)?
Whilst we can only speculate on the exact reasoning in the Pietersen case, we can all think of examples of a relationship where trust is lacking. We know dealing with those we don’t trust is laboured and communications difficult. Strauss has to balance his individual relationship issues with Pietersen alongside the longer term impact on the team. Those who lead large institutions must tightly manage their concerns, or run the risk of eroding public trust as we have seen in many other high profile institutions.
If I were to give Pietersen advice around rebuilding his trustworthiness, I would point him in the direction of Covey who identifies both competence and character as fundamental in building trust. Whilst his cricket capability and results have not been called into question, Pietersen may apply the same rigour to his integrity and intent to restore trustworthiness.
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters, cannot be trusted with important matters” Albert Einstein.