Building Trust Overcomes Isolation

People have asked why I seem to have endless passion and energy around the topic of trust-building. I’ve shared with them that I know first-hand what it feels like not to trust – how isolating, stressful, frustrating, and fearful an untrusting life can be.

For those of you who might want a bit more detail, now comes a moment for a peek under the tent; my new book, On My Own, Recollections of an Unlikely CEO relates the true story of my childhood journey. Since a hallmark of building trust is transparency, I figured that I would lead by example and write a memoir!

coverOn My Own is available now in bookstores, and on From the back cover:

“When severe mental illness strikes a young family in 1961, each member must sort things out as best they can: typically on their own. These are days of mystery, confusion and secrets, where “normal” is an elusive prize. As the middle child of three small boys, the author invites us into his world as he attempts to makes sense of their shared isolation. It’s a story of adversity and resilience, love and pain, and the unrelenting compulsion to overcome through achievement.

Yet there are few villains or victims in these pages. Bruce Hendrick relates with refreshing humor and transparency what it was like to grow up in an environment of well-meaning people who faced life’s challenges without the coping tools or understanding they desperately wanted. As the chapters unfold we participate in Bruce’s journey as he gets himself into and out of trouble on a regular basis. We smile as we witness the foolhardiness of a decent but often misguided boy and watch as a budding trailblazer comes of age, one who is repeatedly the last to recognize his own leadership potential.

Readers are often carried back to their early years as they recall similar predicaments and victories, taking comfort in their own measures of spirit and…well, dumb luck. The bittersweet boyhood adventures of this future CEO are sure to leave you moved, inspired, and thirsting for more.”


Children learn to cope; when left to their own wits for answers, rarely do they find safe roads. If they are fortunate, as I was, to find sustaining friends, family and other support, they can eventually replace their unhealthy coping tools with ones that serve their well-being, not just their survival. Rarely does one emerge from the mental illness of a parent with a healthy sense of self, let alone clarity of direction.

While growing up, stability, consistency and predictability were fleeting at best. More common were mood swings, seizures, depression, and neglect – with the occasional period of love, humor and shame mixed in. We three brothers coped with this atmosphere very differently, but there were common threads: we couldn’t trust others, reveal our true thoughts and feelings, or make really close friends. We only felt safe when taking care of other people. The latter was also a cheap way of tackling the loneliness problem, if only for a moment.

Am I complaining? Not even a little. After all, it gave me my purpose for founding Building Trust, LLC.

To be authentically myself was hazardous as a youngster, and now I take immense pleasure in the simple act of following my own compass. As a leader, authenticity – even when it means not looking very presidential – allows me to make real connections with real people. Plus it’s a lot easier than faking it.

To establish trust in all my relationships is a lifelong desire. I can think of no higher compliment than for two people to honestly say, “I can count on you.” From where I was, having a large pool of mutually trusting relationships means the world to me.

To arm others to reduce their isolation in life and career may be the most compelling part of Building Trust. I will do whatever I can to help others to simplify, connect, and never again feel the utter alone-ness of the silent sufferer.

CTA on my own
The title of my book On My Own is how I felt through the years in its pages. Praise God that it was not a life sentence! If I can help free you from your own cellblock, please let me know.

Click here to reserve your seat at the next public session of the Building Trust Experience on July 8-9, 2015.