At the moment I am winding down in France and while doing so I tend to do more sports than in a normal week at home. Having switched from running to cycling I am completely discovering new areas in the neighborhood of our favorite vacation location. The Allier department in France is quite a hilly landscape with heights varying from 300 to 700 meter. A great landscape for cycling, but also a landscape that brings completely new experiences to someone who is used to cycle in an almost completely flat landscape like we know in the Netherlands.

Doing this cycling in France I have the past week grown a tremendous respect for the people who ride the Tour the France. Climbing the hills is for me yet a slow process and as a newbie making my descent is a careful and fully concentrated endeavor. During the climbs I have time to enjoy the views and ponder on many new ideas. During the descent I am fully concentrated, focusing on the road and what’s behind the next curve in the road. My brake is next to my concentration probably my biggest asset during a descent.

Where I carefully and in full concentration make a descent I see the professional cyclists rush down the hills with an ease and speed like they are still driving the flat lands. New respect grows in me for these professional cyclists.

When realizing this it made me wonder how in alliances trust and respect are two balanced elements. I pondered on it during the ride today (that is during the moments I did not need my attention for a descent) and I came to the conclusion that when building trust there need to be respect otherwise you cannot trust your counterpart. When doing a Google search on it this evening I ran into an article by Bob Whipple where he states “Respect is a precursor to trust; therefore, I believe there is a hierarchy where trust is a higher level than respect.” I tend to strongly agree with Bob and don’t see how I can trust a person that I don’t respect.

In alliances I believe we first respect and start to trust the people we are dealing with before we actually can trust the company as a larger entity to be our alliance partner. Also on a company level we need to respect the other company and it’s values before we can trust them and build an alliance. Would alliances be possible with organizations or people you don’t respect and trust?