A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 19, 2013
“Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose”

"Trust is hard to earn/win and easy to lose” is a popular aphorism that doesn’t appear to have any particular author. “Trust is one of those things that’s hard to get and easy to lose” was cited in print in June 1973. “Public trust is hard to win but easy to lose” was cited in print in 1988.

“Trust is hard to earn, easy to lose, and, once lost, nearly impossible to regain” has been cited in print since at least 2008. The “trust” saying has been used in politics, in business and in other fields.


17 June 1973, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “Broken Trust” by Ellen Peck and Dr. James E. Lieberman, sec. 3, pg. 12, col. 6:
Trust is one of those things that’s hard to get and easy to lose.
(This answer is by Ellen Peck—ed.)

Google News Archive
17 March 1988, Milwaukee (WI) Journal, Waukesha, Section B, pg. 1, col. 5:
Public trust is hard to win but easy to lose.

6 February 1990, Orlando (FL) Sentinel, “Feelings are bruised in wake of ‘Thunder’” by Catherine Hinman, pg. E1:
They’ve also learned, firsthand, that a Hollywood mogul’s trust is hard to win and easy to lose.

AMEinfo.com
Trust: Hard to earn, easy to lose
Thursday, March 07 - 2002 at 10:10
Extracts from Al Golin’s, Golin/Harris International Chairman and Founder, speech at the Brazilian Congress for Corporate Journalism, Media Relations and Public Relations.
(...)
Trust is hard to earn, and easy to lose! Companies must avoid trying to limit damage by coming out with quick excuses and denials. A CEO must never do so until he or she is absolutely sure of the facts.

Google Books
Swimming Upstream:
Collaborative Approaches To Watershed Management

Edited by Paul Sabatier
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
2005
Pg. 111:
A popular aphorism states that trust is hard to win but easy to lose. Though this intuition is widely held, it has been rarely tested. Slovic, Layman, and Flynn (1991) noted that even a hundred trustworthy acts will not restore trust lose from a single untrustworthy act. Rothbart and Park (1986) found an analgous asymmetry: favorable traits such as trustworthiness were judged hard to acquire and easy to lose, whereas unfavorable traits such as dishonesty were judged as easy to acquire and hard to lose.

Google Books
Transparency:
How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor

By Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman and James O’Toole with Patricia Ward Biederman
San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
2008
Pg. 68:
In essence, trust is hard to earn, easy to lose, and, once lost, nearly impossible to regain.

Wichita (KS) Eagle
Should arena tax cover payroll?
By DEB GRUVER
Published Tuesday, March 16, 2010, at 12:04 a.m.
Updated Thursday, May 6, 2010, at 6:05 a.m.
(...)
“Trust is hard to earn but easy to lose,” a memo to commissioners said.

Dallas (TX) Business Journall
Jul 27, 2012, 5:00am CDT
Trust is hard to build, easy to lose
Edward M. Marshall, Ph.D., IN THE WORKPLACE
(...)
Trust is the one principle of relationships we know we must have to be successful in our own lives, in our teams and our organizations. And yet it is the most elusive for us. It is an amorphous quality of relationships — we can’t touch it, hear it or see it. But we can feel it. We know when we are trusted and when we trust another. It is hard to attain and easy to lose, and if lost, we may never regain it. Trust is the icon for our personal and interpersonal integrity.

TechZone360
May 09, 2013
Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes Hints at What Lies Ahead
By Peter Bernstein , Senior Editor
(...)
The old saying that trust is hard to earn, easy to lose and almost impossible to regain will hopefully be a major part of the strategic review.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Sunday, May 19, 2013 • Permalink