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Global trust leader David Horsager joins John O’Leary on the Live Inspired Podcast.

David Horsager hopes to make a dent in the global trust crisis by developing trusted leaders and organizations.

As the bestselling author of The Trust Edge, David is the CEO of Trust Edge Leadership Institute and director of one of the nation’s foremost trust studies: The Trust Outlook.

With decades of research and by working with organizations including FedEx and Toyota, global governments, the New York Yankees and the Department of Homeland Security, David has captured the full picture of leadership both personally and professionally.

If you’re looking to grow as a leader, today’s conversation is for you.

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  • Growing up on a farm in one of the poorest counties in Minnesota, David’s molders were faith, family, and friendships.
  • “It wasn’t because they were the best. It was how they did it, how they treated people and how they lived.” – David on his parents
  • While in college, David developed mentor/mentee relationships with his professors and four friends that were “accountability partners”.
  • How social relationships can develop into life-long friends: Be intentional, consistent and care beyond yourself.
  • The Trust Shield: Leaders are asked to intentionally share about themselves for 3 minutes, leaving others feeling more connected + trusting.
  • After meeting his now-wife Lisa on a spring break mission trip, they wrote more than 500 letters to each other while David worked at Kanakuk Camp and Lisa finished college.
  • Just love them. They can tell when you love them. Even after decades of speaking, David settles any nervous energy with these words from his wife.
  • Is it really a leadership, sales, marketing or innovation issue or is it a trust issue?
  • Lack of trust is the biggest cost of an organization.
  • Only two-in-ten Americans say they trust the government.
  • Eight Pillars of Trust that drive results: Clarity, consistency, compassion, character, contribution, competency, connection and commitment.
  • While relatively co-equal, David suggests starting with Clarity in his 8 Pillars of Trust. People trust the clear and mistrust or distrust the ambiguous or overly complex.
  • ODC: Clear outcome, deadline, ask clarifying questions
  • David and his family developed the Horsager Tennents, the core values each member of the family will exude.
  • “We trust those that stay committed in the face of adversity.”
  • “The only way to rebuild trust is to make and keep a commitment.”
  • Get a copy of David Horsager’s The Trust Edge.

Did you enjoy today’s episode? You’ll love our Family Road Trip Playlist!

Enjoy a curated selection of family-friendly Live Inspired Podcast guests including comic Sebastian Maniscalco, Grammy-winner Lauren Daigle, Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and so many more. With this much inspiration, no one will be asking, “are we there yet!?” Listen to the Family Road Trip Playlist here.


About our sponsor: Keeley Companies wholeheartedly believes that if you get the people right -the results will follow. They set themselves apart with a forward-thinking culture that empowers their people and fosters loyal partnerships. Keeley Companies are a proud sponsor, partner, and super fan of the Live Inspired Podcast. Learn more about Keeley Companies.



  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. The Bible, the first book I wrote The Trust Edge, and Excellence Wins by Horst Schulze.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. Although we didn’t have much but I was free, peaceful and joyful.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. Nothing.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. Jesus, Ben Franklin and my grandfather.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. Little things done consistently make a big difference. Will Durant said, “We are what we repeatedly do.”
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. Relationships can change everything.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. He is a gentleman on whom I built absolute trust. - Macbeth