“Flying military jet formation aerobatics 2-3 feet apart at high speeds and very low altitude, I came to understand that my wingmen were unconsciously asking five simple questions about me every day. Based on the answers they discerned, they would decide how much they trusted me. I believe these same five questions are being asked about you by your team, your boss, your clients and customers, your vendors, your family, and your friends. What are their answers?”

— Captain George Dom, former Commander and Flight Leader of the Blue Angels

Trust is the crucial element in all relationships — professional and personal. When a high level of trust is achieved and sustained, the relationship is strong and vibrant, with increases in engagement, collaboration, productivity, agility, and resilience.

  • CHARACTER  “Do you walk your talk?”
  • COMMITMENT  “Will you be with us when times are rough?”
  • COMPETENCE  “Are you good enough to be our leader?” “Are your skills relevant?”
  • CONNECTION  “Do you understand me?”
  • COMMUNICATION  “Can I understand you?”

“This applies to every relationship,” George says. “Those five questions are being asked about all of us by everyone we care about. Fundamentally, they want to know if they can believe and depend on us. How much does this matter to you? Are you here only for yourself or the team?”

In order to be trusted, you must be trustworthy.

“If there’s a problem in a team or a significant relationship, you’ll find the source of the problem in one or more of these five areas.”

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NOTE: A former career U.S. Navy officer and aviator, Captain Dom’s comments and writings do not represent the views of the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School, the U.S. Navy, or the Department of Defense.