Deserved Trust

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“To get what you want, deserve what you want. Trust, success, and admiration are earned.”

In 2007, Charlie Munger gave the commencement address at USC Law School, opening his speech by saying, “Well, no doubt many of you are wondering why the speaker is so old. Well, the answer is obvious: He hasn’t died yet.”


Fortunately for us, Munger has kept on ticking. The commencement speech is an excellent response to the Big Question: How do we live a life that really works? It has so many of Munger’s core ideas that we think the speech represents the Munger Operating System for life.


Munger’s opening remarks:

“To get what you want, deserve what you want. Trust, success, and admiration are earned.”


“It’s such a simple idea. It’s the golden rule so to speak: You want to deliver to the world what you would buy if you were on the other end. There is no ethos, in my opinion, that is better for any lawyer or any other person to have. By and large the people who have this ethos win in life and they don’t win just money, not just honors. They win the respect, the deserved trust, of the people they deal with, and there is huge pleasure in life to be obtained from getting deserved trust.”


Although I lost both parents at an early age (nine when I lost my father, 12 when I lost my mother), I knew instinctively from both of them that my word was my bond. If I agreed to do something, a verbal agreement or a handshake was my bond; more binding than any formal signed contract.


I carried this over to Love INC and my signed covenant to build a Love INC of Metro Tampa. There are to be no surprises, nothing left unaccounted for. I sweat the small stuff, don’t like surprises and won’t knowingly surprise anyone. All aspects of God’s provision for Love INC is mine to steward with complete transparency and accountability. At the end of my earthly tenure, I only want to hear His: “well done, good and faithful servant.”


“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?  And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own?” Luke 16:10-12


md 4-6-2019