Jul
23

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If you are not accountable, why do you expect your team members to be?

If you lead an organization or a team, accountability is an essential trait. Lack of accountability leads to distrust which, in turn, leads to disengagement. When you find yourself falling back on an excuse, stop and think about the impact it has on your team and consider using an alternative response instead.

Below is a list of commonly heard trust BUSTING excuses and an alternative trust BUILDING response.

Trust Busting Excuse #1:  It slipped my mind.

Trust Building Response #1: I won’t forget.

Trust Busting Excuse #2: Sorry, I’m going on vacation.

Trust Building Response #2: This will be done before I go on vacation.

Trust Busting Excuse #3: I’ll do it later.

Trust Building Response #3: I will do it right now.

Trust Busting Excuse #4: Keep reminding me.

Trust Building Response #4: You will not need to remind me.

Trust Busting Excuse #5: It’s not on my “to do” list.

Trust Building Response #5: I’m putting it on the top of my “to do” list.

Trust Busting Excuse #6: It isn’t a high priority.

Trust Building Response #6: I’m giving it high priority.

Trust Busting Excuse #7: It was just a white lie.

Trust Building Response #7: I admit to being dishonest.

Trust Busting Excuse #8: I’m very busy. Check back later.

Trust Building Response #8: I’m very busy right now but let’s talk in one hour.

Trust Busting Excuse #9: I thought I did it.

Trust Building Response #9: I will take care of it right now.

Trust Busting Excuse #10: I ran out of time.

Trust Building Response #10: It’s more time consuming than I thought, but I will get it done.

What are some other common trust busting excuses? Leave a comment.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft

If you would like to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

Jul
22

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

Late last year Trust Across America-Trust Around the World  published the first in a planned series of award-winning books. The book, TRUST INC. Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset brings together the wisdom of 32 experts and is divided into six chapters:

  1. Why Trust Matters- read our blog of July 18 to find out Why Trust Matters
  2. Trust in Practice- read our blog of July 18 for Trust in Practice from Apple to Africa
  3. Trustworthy Leadership- read our blog of July 19 for Secrets of Trustworthy Leadership
  4. Building Trustworthy Teams- read our blog of July 20 for five great strategies
  5. Restoring Trust- read our blog of July 21
  6. A New Paradigm for Organizational Trust (today’s post)

Over a six day period, our blog has highlighted each chapter. Every strategy stands alone as an excellent resource in helping leaders understand why trust matters, and provides tools for those who choose to implement trust building programs in their organization. Today we complete our six day review.

 

“Brave Leadership Builds Trust in the New World” according to Ben Boyd at Edelman.

Organizations must change the way in which they engage stakeholders; they must commit to inclusive management. This management style is not a linear process, but rather dynamic, continual and evolutionary in nature. Leaders need to do more than just pay attention; they must engage all of their stakeholders 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in an authentic way. Only then can they succeed in such a transparent environment. To reach this goal, leaders must embrace inclusive management by committing to four actions: vision + share, enlist, adapt and act.

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Eric Lowitt tells us “Why Trust is Our Future’s Most Vital Resource”

Can we reasonably expect that the public sector will provide global, let alone federal, leadership to address our global challenges: water, energy, food, infrastructure, healthcare, or climate change? In the U.S. there’s this belief that we as citizens pay 40 percent of our income and deserve 100 percent return on investment from our government. We believe our taxes will provide blanket services to all our needs. It doesn’t work this way.

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Philip Mirvis envisions a shift “From CSR to Corporate Social Innovation”

Companies can continue to move forward incrementally, dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s”, and the practices of CSR will become more or less “routinized” into business.  However, this routinization process has been studied by many scholars who conclude that it is a recipe for decay. Don Sull, in his investigations of “Why Good Businesses Go Bad,” attributes their decline to “active inertia.”  In other words, they just “keep on keeping on,” insensitive to changes in the business context.  And Jim Collins, in his new book How the Mighty Fall describes the implications as a “capitulation to irrelevance.”  Is this where CSR is headed?

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Steven Pyser shares his views on “Capitalism and High Trust: Leveraging Social Worlds as Intangible Assets”

We teetered on the abyss of financial collapse during the economic crisis of 2008. Transforming capitalism and global economies currently operating in default non-trusting communication modes to ones driven by trustworthy business dialogue and behavior will not happen overnight. It will likely take time for the pendulum of greed and untrustworthy misdeeds to swing toward positive and sustainable change. Until then, moneyed interests will continue to seek short-term gains. Building a culture of high trust by leveraging the “right” conversations as intangible assets is the antiseptic and new structure global capitalism requires.

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And finally, my friend Robert Easton at Accenture has some concluding thoughts on “Creating a Positive Deviance of Trust.”

What if we were to think more constructively than mere functionality of trust and trustworthiness – in other words, positive trust? This concept does not simply connote the absence of distrust, or merely the presence of a normal state of trust; rather, it focuses on creating a positive deviance of trust- a force for helping people, corporations and societies to thrive.  Yes, where distrust is prevalent we have to return to normal functioning- to a state where people feel safe at home, at work and in their communities.  But in a paradigm of positive trust, a mere normal level of functioning is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for trust to catalyze social change.  We must encourage leaders to view trust as more than just an instrument to improve corporate profit and organizational accomplishments to one of fundamentally increasing the total positivity of the organization. What will it take?

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I hope you have enjoyed this six day sneak peak into the trust treasures contained in our book. Did I mention that the book has won both a Nautilus Business Book and Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Award for Best Business Book? If this brief look behind the door has been helpful, follow this link to order the book online.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft

If you would like to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jul
21

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

Late last year Trust Across America-Trust Around the World  published the first in a planned series of award-winning books. The book, TRUST INC. Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset brings together the wisdom of 32 experts and is divided into six chapters:

  1. Why Trust Matters- read our blog of July 18 to find out Why Trust Matters
  2. Trust in Practice- read our blog of July 18 for Trust in Practice from Apple to Africa
  3. Trustworthy Leadership- read our blog of July 19 for Secrets of Trustworthy Leadership
  4. Building Trustworthy Teams- read our blog of July 20 for five great strategies
  5. Restoring Trust (today’s blog post)
  6. The Future of Trust

Over a six day period, our blog will extract highlights from these chapters. Each strategy stands alone as an excellent resource in helping leaders understand why trust matters, and provides tools for those who choose to implement trust building programs in their organization. Today we take a closer look at 4 strategies for Restoring Trust including one for the financial industry.

Join Patricia Aburdene as she outlines “Five Strategies to Maximize The Power of Trust”

Today, people are starting to see that restoring trust is vital to the healthy economic growth on which humanity depends for economic security, innovation, wellbeing, a clean environment, and the freedom to pursue happiness and self-expression. The question is: how does business anchor trust into daily operations? I propose five strategies, with examples and case studies to illustrate each. They are:

  1. Fully Recognize the Economic Power of Trust  
  2. Build Trust into the Business Model
  3. Cultivate Trust by Deepening the Conversation
  4. Restore Consumer Trust
  5. Profit from the Power of Trust 

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Linda Locke discussed the roles of “Trust, Emotion and Corporate Reputation”

A reputational crisis is one in which trust in the organization is undermined. Reputation may be an organization’s most valuable asset, but its inherent intangibility may make it the most difficult asset to manage. This explains why CEOs and Boards of Directors consider it a perplexing challenge that keeps them up at night. (4)

Key to that challenge is understanding the emotions that drive stakeholders’ expectations. Leaders often mismanage trust and reputation because they fail to think and communicate in emotional terms. 

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In his essay James Lukaszewski addresses “Building Trust is Tougher than Ever: A Trust Manifesto for Leaders”

 So far in the 21st Century, the role of top management and leadership has changed in seven remarkable ways: (the first 3 are listed below)

  1. The growing global pressure for financial performance continues to distort leadership decision-making.
  2. More people and organizations are looking over a boss’ or leader’s shoulder than ever before providing more pressure and less cover for management mistakes and bad decisions.
  3. More critics from more quarters, including an increasing chorus of non-government organizations, special interest groups, and tougher government oversight, keep leaders in the stressful target zone.

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And finally, in “Rebuilding Trust in the Financial Markets” Davia Temin outlines the steps required to do so.

So, despite a broad stock market rally since the financial crisis officially ended, public animosity towards banks and investment banks has not abated. In fact, if anything, it has deepened. And non-banks such as Wal-Mart and Facebook – in which consumers have far greater trust – have begun to fill in the void. Is this the death knell of the financial services industry? Have we gone from “Too Big to Fail,” to “Failure is Inevitable?”

What can be done?  And, even if banks have the will, is it possible to rebuild trust in financial institutions today?

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I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peak into the trust treasures contained in our book. Did I mention that the book has won both a Nautilus Business Book and Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Award for Best Business Book? Tomorrow I’ll pull some similar gems from The Future of Trust. Check back with us soon.

If this brief look behind the door has been helpful, follow this link to order the book online.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft

If you would like to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jul
20

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

Late last year Trust Across America-Trust Around the World  published the first in a planned series of award-winning books. The book, TRUST INC. Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset brings together the wisdom of 32 experts and is divided into six chapters:

  1. Why Trust Matters- read our blog of July 18 to find out Why Trust Matters
  2. Trust in Practice- read our blog of July 18 for Trust in Practice from Apple to Africa
  3. Trustworthy Leadership read our blog of July 19 for Secrets of Trustworthy Leadership
  4. Building Trustworthy Teams (today’s blog post)
  5. Restoring Trust
  6. The Future of Trust

Over a six day period, our blog will extract highlights from these chapters. Each strategy stands alone as an excellent resource in helping leaders understand why trust matters, and provides tools for those who choose to implement trust building programs in their organization. Today we take a closer look at 5 strategies for Building Trustworthy Teams.

William Benner explains how to “Practice Trustworthy Behaviors”

There are many internal and external factors that can affect the ability of individuals and team members to trust one another and accomplish personal goals and team objectives. (These are just a few taken from a longer list.)

  • Highly competitive, rapidly changing and uncertain business environment
  • Inability and/or unwillingness to address performance issues as a team
  • Poor communication skills and inability to listen for understanding
  • Lack of clarity about the team’s shared mission and direction
  • Lack of confidence in the team leader and/or team members

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Mary Gentile describes how to “Build the Trust Muscle: In Our Companies, In our Teams, In Ourselves”

No one publicly debates the necessity for trust in business transactions, to allow for efficient arms-length business transactions and to reduce the cost of regulatory compliance, monitoring and penalties. However, actual behaviors are often slow to change. Too often, when scandals hit or when bubbles burst, we rush to the bully pulpit, proclaiming the necessity to clean up our acts; to place transparency and integrity at the heart of our business dealings; to treat employees and consumers with the respect that comes from honest communication and practices that are consistent with the business mission and values statements. 

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Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner remind us that “You Can’t Take Trust for Granted”

Every single relationship is built on trust. It’s foundational. It’s fundamental. And foundations and fundamentals need constant attention. Building trust is a process that begins when someone is willing to risk being the first to open up, being the first to show vulnerability, and being the first to let go of control––and then reciprocating these actions.  And in the leader-constituent relationship, leaders go first. If you want the high levels of performance that come with trust and collaboration, you have to be the first to demonstrate your trust in others before asking them to trust you.

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Hear what Brian Moriarty has to say in “Creating Thriving Organizations- The Bedrock of Trust and Reputation”

Purpose-driven organizations have an important advantage because they are able to tap into the intrinsic motivation of their people. Intrinsic motivation refers to activities or work that people find rewarding in and of itself: for example, a pharmaceutical researcher who is driven by a desire to alleviate suffering caused by a particular disease. When work is intrinsically motivating, performance and creativity thrive. When employees have a voice in the mission of the organization, purpose becomes part of a living conversation with people asking, “What is the unique value that this organization provides for the world?” Companies need employees to be asking this question repeatedly.

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And finally, Robert Whipple reminds us that “Reinforcing Candor Builds Trust and Transparency”

A simple three-part model of how leader behaviors can help build higher trust includes three categories of behaviors.

1. Table Stakes

These are the basic building blocks of ethics and integrity that must be present for any level of trust to kindle. The term Table Stakes comes from the phenomenon in poker where individuals must ante up even to play in the game. Traits like honesty, openness, communication, consistency, and ethics simply must be present, or the leader may as well take off his suit and hit the showers. 

2. Enabling Actions

These are the components that further help build trust once the Table Stakes are present. There are thousands of items we could name in this category. Here are some examples: following up, advocacy, fairness, admitting mistakes, and many others. The more these elements are present, the greater the ability for the leader to withstand trust withdrawals.

3. The Heart of Trust – Reinforcing Candor  

Reinforcing candor is the ability to make people glad they brought up an observation of a leader’s inconsistency. In most organizations, people are punished in some way for bringing forward a leadership problem. Where the highest levels of trust and transparency are present, the leader has the ability to set aside his ego and reinforce those who challenge an action.

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I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peak into the trust treasures contained in our book. Did I mention that the book has won both a Nautilus Business Book and Eric Hoffer Grand Business Prize Award? Tomorrow I’ll pull some similar gems from Restoring Trust. Check back with us soon.

If this brief look behind the door has been helpful, follow this link to order the book online.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft

If you would like to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jul
19

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

Late last year Trust Across America-Trust Around the World  published the first in a planned series of award-winning books. The book, TRUST INC. Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset brings together the wisdom of 32 experts and is divided into six chapters:

  1. Why Trust Matters- read our blog of July 18 to find out Why Trust Matters
  2. Trust in Practice- read our blog of July 18 for Trust in Practice from Apple to Africa
  3. Trustworthy Leadership (today’s post)
  4. Building Trustworthy Teams
  5. Restoring Trust
  6. The Future of Trust

Over a six day period, our blog will extract highlights from these chapters. Each one stands alone as an excellent resource in helping leaders understand why trust matters, and provides tools for those who choose to implement trust building programs in their organization. Today we take a closer look at Trustworthy Leadership via the alphabet and other great strategies.

Randy Conley teaches us “The ABCDs of Leading with Trust”

Able—Being Able is about demonstrating competence. One-way leaders demonstrate their competence is by having the expertise needed to do their jobs. 

Believable—A Believable leader acts with integrity. Dealing with people in an honest fashion by keeping promises, not lying or stretching the truth, and not gossiping are ways to demonstrate integrity. Believable leaders also have a clear set of values that have been articulated to their direct reports and they behave consistently with those values—they walk the talk. 

Connected—Connected leaders show care and concern for people, which builds trust and helps to create an engaging work environment. Research by The Ken Blanchard Companies® has identified “connectedness with leader” and “connectedness with colleague” as 2 of the 12 key factors involved in creating employee work passion, and trust is a necessary ingredient in those relationships. 

Dependable—Being Dependable and maintaining reliability is the fourth element of trust. One of the quickest ways to erode trust is by not following through on commitments. 

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Stephen M.R. Covey and Greg Link show us how to “Lead Out in Extending Trust”

When managers don’t extend trust, people often tend to perpetuate vicious, collusive downward cycles of distrust and suspicion. As a result, they become trapped in a world where people don’t trust each other— where management doesn’t trust employees and employees don’t trust management; where suppliers don’t trust partners and partners don’t trust suppliers; where companies don’t trust customers and customers don’t trust companies; where marriage partners don’t trust each other; and where parents don’t trust their children and children don’t trust their parents. 

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Want to learn more about heart-based leadership? In Leading from the Heart: Build Your Business by Attaining Trust, Lolly Daskal offers “4 Cs”:

COMPETENCE: In any endeavor, trust is earned when you show you know what you’re doing. An insecure leader may attempt to prove his or her competence through bragging and bluster or trumpeting personal credentials. However, true competence is expressed quietly. 

CONNECTION: Connection is at the heart of trust. When you are connected, you care about others and you communicate with them. It goes beyond just knowing the names of your employees.  Connected leaders understand the value of communicating—not merely day-to-day information or expectations, but also their long-term vision and plans. 

CREDIBILITY: Credibility is built on a foundation of integrity. It is an expression of the values you hold for yourself and your organization. It’s impossible to fake. Credible leaders hold themselves and everyone within their organization to the highest standard of ethical behavior. Standards are clear and unchanging. 

CONSISTENCY: Consistency- the final attribute of trust-building- fuses the disparate elements of the three C’s discussed above. It requires the same hard work as competence, the same commitment to others as connection, and the same self-awareness as credibility. Consistency brings these traits together, adding ownership and accountability.

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In Leading with Trust: Learning from Mistakes Amy Lyman looks inside two companies.

The stories of mistakes made, lessons learned and the success that followed, along with the humor of the pink erasers, has deepened the process of learning from mistakes that has helped EILEEN FISHER to be so successful.

The story from Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder illustrates the powerful impact that a brief encounter can have on our lives and of our ability to learn from the mistakes of others long past the time of the incident. It is also a powerful reminder to leaders that any encounter can be an opportunity to build up, or tear down, trust.

Leaders who learn from their mistakes and share their stories will develop committed rather than compliant followers. When they ask for more from people they will have a green light rather than dragging feet. Leading with trust works.

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In Ethical Leader as Ethics Coach Chris Macdonald lays out a plan for becoming an ethics coach:

1) Learn the basic vocabulary of ethics; educate yourself on the terminology that experts in the field have found useful in making key distinctions and expressing important values. You can’t coach others on ethics if you don’t know how to talk about the topic.

2) Learn what you can about the known barriers to effective ethical conversations about ethics. Many people find it hard to talk about ethics. Find out why, and do what you can to start breaking down those barriers.

3) Think about what you do – and what you can do – to make your workplace a place where employees are empowered to make ethical decisions. Is your organization one where ethics is on the table? Do employees feel trusted to make decisions and to take a range of ethical factors into consideration?

4) Reflect frequently not just on the substance of the choices you make, but also on the underlying values and principles and how you would explain them to others. Even when the right thing seems obvious to you, it might not seem obvious to others.

5) Practice talking about ethics. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone. That means doing more than reading up on the topic. 

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And finally, in The Four C’s of Trust John Spence describes 4 types of leaders, some more trustworthy than others!

Leaders with very high competence and very low concern. (RESPECT)  These leaders are good at what they do but have little concern for their followers. Many would view this leadership style as the old Theory X of command-and-control, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Leaders with low competence and low concern. (DISTRUST) this person does not possess any leadership qualities and truthfully, you don’t even want them on your team. If this individual does not quickly show an aptitude for learning and empathy, as well as respect and some level of collaboration, it is likely time to make him “available to industry, ” i.e., unemployed.

Leaders with high concern, but low competence. (AFFECTION) This is someone who is very nice, but is also completely incompetent. Everyone loves this person who has been around forever, and everyone cleans up his mess, does his work, fixes his reports and smoothes over the customer problems he has caused. 

Leaders with high competence and high concern. This is the person who effectively builds and sustains TRUST. He has high IQ and high EQ; he is rigorous in his thinking and demand for excellence, but never ruthless with his employees; he consistently works hard on self-improvement and stretches himself, while also showing empathy, connection and concern.

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I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peak into the trust treasures contained in our book. Did I mention that the book has won both a Nautilus Business Book and Eric Hoffer Grand Business Prize Award? Tomorrow I’ll pull some similar gems from Building Trustworthy Teams. Check back with us soon.

If this brief look behind the door has been helpful, follow this link to order the book online.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft

If you would like to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jul
18

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

Late last year Trust Across America-Trust Around the World  published the first in a planned series of award-winning books. The book, TRUST INC. Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset brings together the wisdom of 32 experts and is divided into six chapters:

  1. Why Trust Matters- read our blog of July 18 to find out Why Trust Matters
  2. Trust in Practice
  3. Trustworthy Leadership
  4. Building Trustworthy Teams
  5. Restoring Trust
  6. The Future of Trust

Over a six day period, our blog will extract highlights from each chapter. Each one can serve as an excellent resource in helping leaders understand why trust matters, and provide tools for those who choose to implement trust building programs in their organization. In these five stories covering trust building from Apple, Inc. all the way to Africa, you will read how organizations have successfully built trust.

“In Apple We Trust” Cynthia Figge explores trust building under Apple’s new leadership.

In terms of company supremacy, Apple must surely rank near the top. They have maintained one of the largest market values for a public company and Fast Company named Apple as “The World’s Most Innovative Company” in 2012. What could be better? At the end of 2012 in a December 6th Business Week article. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, said he would continue the company’s focus on creating great products to enrich people’s lives (“higher cause for the product”) under his leadership. He also noted that Apple would become more transparent to both make a difference and have others follow its leadership. For a company where secrecy has been sacred, was this a signal that transparency is being adopted as a business driver – perhaps ultimately an issue of customer loyalty and trust? Or was the external mounting pressure from Apple stakeholders great enough to change the company’s course? Or both? 

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In “Four Lock Box” John Gerzema describes the creation of a savings club in Kenya and how trust played a key role in its success.

The long-term payoff for Kenya could be seen in the rising health and education levels of the farm children who will soon be young adults. With its urban population growing at nearly five percent per year, Kenya will need more jobs in commerce and industry, and these positions require workers with sufficient schooling. However, many of today’s adults in Kenya also need immediate access to work and incomes, and cannot devote years to study. For this segment of the population, one of the world’s oldest aid groups—Catholic Relief Services—promotes a saving and lending scheme that serves people who are so poor that they cannot qualify even for the kind of microfinance loans popular in many parts of the world.

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In “Brand Trust is the Foundation to Brand Loyalty” James Gregory discusses trust and brand loyalty using stories from Apple, AIG and BP.

Marketing professionals generally think of brand building as nothing more than a combination of product/service packaging, public relations and advertising. In reality, the effort needed to build a trusted brand touches every aspect of a business. You can’t just claim to be trustworthy; you must act and behave accordingly. Building brand loyalty through trustworthy behavior motivates audiences to continually select your brand over competitors, improving financial performance. Brand loyalty can also bolster your company’s performance through economic shifts, public relations gaffes and even significant management changes. 

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In “Trust the Great Economic Game Changer” Robert Porter Lynch provides an eye opening essay on the auto industry. A great read for Mary Barra and GM’s Board of Directors.

One industry that’s dear to everyone is the auto industry – the world’s most visible and best-studied business sector. In 2009, General Motors and Chrysler both filed for bankruptcy and Ford came darned close. Being “too big to fail,” every taxpayer in the United States, through the action of the President, became an investor in GM and Chrysler through a bailout program (as taxpayers also did with the banks that failed).

What is not well known is that in the five year period leading up to the auto crisis, the “Big Three” U.S. automakers collectively had lost over $100 billion in the prior five years running up to the 2008 financial meltdown. The financial cataclysm did not cause their failure; it just put them over the precipice.

How could such large companies, staffed by highly educated management professionals, make such horrific mistakes? What really happened? What can we learn from this debacle?

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And finally Deb Mills-Scofield shows how Menasha Packaging Corp proved “You Can’t Take 164 Years of Trust for Granted”.

Menasha Packaging Corp (MPC), a 164 year old, 6th generation family business, has grown from making wooden pails in 1849 to a design-oriented packaging company that today delights customers, employees and their communities with over $1 billion in revenue.  How? By leveraging their culture of entrepreneurship, collaboration, and autonomy based on trust and faith in each other. 

In Menasha’s history, there have been times of great trust and times of wavering trust.  The early 1990s were a time of tension between many corporations and their unions.  During that time, MPC, a strong believer in collaboration, started a formal team-based manufacturing program in their plants between management and plant workers, including union representatives. The output was increased innovation from the employees on the floor that improved productivity and the outcome was increased collaboration and trust.  While this may be common sense to many of us today, it was not the “norm” 20+ years ago.

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I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peak into the trust treasures contained in our book. Did I mention that the book has won both a Nautilus Business Book and Eric Hoffer Grand Business Prize Award? Tomorrow I’ll pull some similar gems from Trustworthy Leadership. Check back with us soon.

If you have enjoyed this brief look behind the door, follow this link to order the book online.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft

If you would like to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jul
17

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

 

Late last year Trust Across America-Trust Around the World  published the first in a planned series of award-winning books. The book, TRUST INC. Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset brings together the wisdom of 32 experts and is divided into six chapters:

  1. Why Trust Matters
  2. Trust in Practice
  3. Trustworthy Leadership
  4. Building Trustworthy Teams
  5. Restoring Trust
  6. The Future of Trust

For the next six days, our blog will extract highlights from each chapter. Each one can serve as an excellent resource in helping leaders understand why trust matters, and provide tools for those who choose to implement trust building programs in their organization. We know our readers love lists. Today’s blog contains five.

Charles H. Green & Barbara Brooks Kimmel discuss “Trustworthiness in Action” and offer a “Top Ten List” of how companies can increase trustworthiness.

#1 Trustworthy leadership – Very simply, a culture of trust cannot exist with an untrustworthy leader. 

#2 Transformation – Productivity and execution begin when the CEO creates a set of values and goals that are shared, accepted and adopted by all stakeholders. 

#3Tools – There are many trust tools CEOs can use to build trust with their internal and external stakeholders. These run the gamut from metrics and assessments to online surveys. 

#4 Treatment- The Golden Rule says to “treat others the way you want to be treated.” This certainly holds true for trust. 

#5 Teamwork – Teamwork leads to better decisions and better outcomes. Teams create trust, and trust creates teams.

#6 Talk – Your stakeholders need to know what steps you are taking to build a trustworthy organization. Quarterly numbers are no longer the be all and end all. 

#7 Truth – Truth-telling is at the core of trust. Any CEO who wants to build a trustworthy organization must have an extremely comfortable relationship with the truth. 

#8 Time – Building a culture of trustworthy business does not happen overnight. It takes time, maybe even years – but not decades. 

#9 Transparency – Merriam Webster defines “transparent” as visibility or accessibility of information, especially with business practices. Any CEO who thinks he or she can still hide behind a veil of secrecy need only spend a few minutes on social media reading what their stakeholders are saying. 

#10 Thoughtful – Not all stakeholders need to know the company’s trade secrets, or what the CEO had for dinner. But if your company is serious about increasing trustworthiness, consider engaging all your stakeholders in rich, thoughtful conversations. 

***********

In “What Does a Trustworthy Company Look Like” Peter Firestein addresses how you know a trustworthy company when you see one.

By far the best assessment of whether a company is worthy of trust lies in an answer to the question: “Who trusts it?”

  • A trusted company’s shares trade at a premium to its competitors’ based on investors’ expectations of strong performance in the future. This expectation, itself, is a matter of belief in customers’ trust in its products, lenders’ trust in its judgment, and regulators’ trust in its practices.
  • When unwanted events occur, a trusted company receives the benefit of the doubt until the facts can be established. It is not assumed to be in the wrong.
  • A trusted company attracts the best available employees, helping to ensure that it will continue to hold the trust of stakeholders into the next generation.
  • A trusted company’s practices and strategies are adopted by other companies wishing to emulate its success. Those strategies enter the curricula of business schools to be studied and adapted.
  • Concentration on the continued worthiness of a trusted company is spread evenly across all levels of the company’s hierarchy. Maintaining and strengthening trust in the company is a career-long preoccupation of virtually everyone who works there.

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In “Making Your Values Real to Enable Trust” Jeffrey Thomson discusses two ways to make trust tangible:

How do you make your organizational values real and foundational to building trust, organizational health, and creating great business outcomes? Two very simple suggestions:

  1. The CEO, not a committee or consultant, must set the core values.  Why? Tone at the top.  Genuine, authentic and sustained exemplary behaviors are required and should be expected from the leader and the leadership team. 
  2. Make the effort to inculcate the core values into on-going performance reviews and appraisal processes to drive regular, often tough, conversations about the behaviors (the “how”) that lead to the accomplishments (the “what”).  

**********

In “Choosing Candor the Language of Trust” Laura Rittenhouse discusses three levels of CEO Candor.

Just Talk:  AMD 2011 Shareholder Letter Introduction

AMD enters 2012 firmly focused on becoming a solid execution engine, while positioning ourselves to take advantage of growth opportunities driven by a fundamental shift in the computing ecosystem. 

Real Talk:  Lockheed Martin 2011 Shareholder Letter Introduction

This is a milestone year for Lockheed Martin: our 100th anniversary. Our company’s success over the past century is due to the exceptional character and ingenuity of the hundreds of thousands of people who have walked through the doors of our heritage companies. As this remarkable enterprise begins its second century, we and our customers face unprecedented global security challenges and an uncertain economic environment.

Transforming Talk:  Eaton Corporation 2011 Shareholder Letter Introduction

In 1911, young entrepreneur Joseph Oriel Eaton staked his future on a transformational axle for the fledgling U.S. trucking industry. He bet upon a megatrend — that the transportation industry would become a hallmark of American industry and our economy. And he was right.

**********

And finally Robert & Gregg Vanourek address how “Stewards Build Trust” and  provide a partial list of trust busters.

Trust is complex. Many behaviors can undermine trust. Below is a partial list of “trust busters”:

  1. Abusive behavior
  2. Accountability lacking
  3. Appreciation lacking
  4. Arbitrary use of power
  5. Blaming
  6. Commitments not met
  7. Communication poor or secretive
  8. Compensation plans encourage inappropriate behavior
  9. Controls/processes lacking or excessive
  10. Corner cutting to get results

I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peak into the trust treasures contained in our book. Did I mention that it has won both a Nautilus Business Book and Eric Hoffer Grand Business Prize Award? Tomorrow I’ll pull some similar gems from Trust in Practice. Check back with us soon.

If you have enjoyed this brief look behind the door, follow this link to order the book online.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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If you would like to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jul
16

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

What do pickles, kindness and employee engagement have in common? Read on.

 

This morning my younger son was packing up to head to Vermont for a few days with a friend and his family. He had just returned from the bagel shop with a Baker’s Dozen and a container of cream cheese to share during the trip. On his way out the door I remembered that last evening I had brewed up our first batch of summer refrigerator pickles from our bounty of organic garden cucumbers. (For those of you who think pickles must be made in a crock and “cooked” for months, there’s a shortcut that actually tastes better and only takes 3 or 4 days. Think “crunchy” and Google “garlic dill refrigerator pickles.)”

I suggested to my son that he take a jar to his host family. His response surprised me. He said he believed one kind gesture (the bag of bagels) was sufficient. I reminded him that you can never do too many nice things for others.

Same applies to leaders in any organization. Who in the C-Suite is tasked with doing the “right” thing and keeping everyone happy, the equivalent of a Chief Kindness Officer? It all starts with the CEO.  How often do you hear about companies doing nice things just because they want to, as opposed to well crafted PR campaigns or corporate window dressing? Some do. Howard Schultz at Starbucks just announced a program to pay college tuition.

According to Gallup, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. Do you think building kindness into the corporate culture might raise that engagement? Acts of kindness build trust. They make for good business.

I have compiled a short list of the various ways leaders can build trust through deliberate acts of kindness.

  • Set long-term goals and establish a benchmark
  • Put trust high on the agenda every day
  • Create an intentional culture
  • Hire the right people who are aligned with that culture (don’t forget to let HR know)
  • Communicate openly
  • Support advancement
  • Catch someone doing something right every day, announce it and reward it
  • Tell the truth
  • Park your ego at the door and do more listening than talking
  • Come down out of your ivory tower and on to the shop floor
  • Keep your word
  • Offer to buy lunch, bring a jar of pickles, and sit down at the table.

Start today. Set some long-term employee engagement goals and put trust high on the daily agenda. Let me know the outcome.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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Drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jul
15

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

We’ve all heard them, those annoying robot recordings and canned phrases that companies and their customer service “professionals”  have adopted because it’s what “policy” dictates. I would love a seat at those policy meeting tables to remind management that without customers, business ceases to exist.

Here’s a short list of my favorite first hand trust-busters and the way my brain translates them:

CSR: “I understand how you feel”

ME: No you don’t. You think that by saying “I understand how you feel” that I feel better, but actually you haven’t resolved the problem so I feel worse.

CSR: Sorry, but this is our policy.

ME: You’re not sorry at all. You’re giving me a stock answer because that’s all your company permits you to say.

CSR: “I’m doing the best I can.”

ME: Well then I feel sorry for YOU because you’ve set your own bar very low.

CSR: Hobbily gobbily gobeldy gook. (The CSR is not a native English speaker and I can’t understand a thing they are saying.)

ME: This company doesn’t care enough about it’s customers to ensure that their reps speak English well enough to be understood.

CSR: “We can’t give you a time when we will be there.”

ME: You don’t value my time so customer service is clearly not a priority.

CSR: Our computers are very slow today.

ME: Funny, every time I call you, you tell me the same story. Please suggest to management that the computers be fixed.

And the best one:

CSR: You’re not the first one to call and complain about this.

ME: Then let me calculate the gross time wasted by all the callers instead of just my call. And now that I have finished my calculations, I  feel better knowing that you are letting all your customers down and wasting all their time, not just mine.

And I can’t help but recall of all those times I’ve dialed, listened to the recording, entered  the info and account numbers, sat on hold and then the CSR finally picks up… and the call is disconnected.

Certain kinds of companies are famous for poor customer service. Health insurers, utility and cable companies and airlines come to mind first. Also, all the local businesses that deliver appliances and the like. The remainder of companies, get it “right” more often than wrong, but it’s probably because we never need to call them.  And in some cases like utilities, we have no choice but to do business with these companies, and they know it. We are a captive audience.

What this tells me is that the “right” leaders are absent at the policy meetings (probably because they are too busy putting out fires.) The company is not customer focused and therefore not trustworthy. Management is more concerned with lining their own pocketbooks than in meeting the needs of all their stakeholders, including their customers. Their focus is short-term and they are fooling no one but themselves, and the lack of customer focus is usually indicative of more serious underlying and systemic problems, starting with untrustworthy leaders. As a consumer, I avoid these companies whenever I can. We all have choices (most of the time). Whenever possible, choose to give your business to those who don’t train their CSR’s to give stock answers to real concerns, and who apparently have no respect for the people who ultimately pay their salaries, their customers.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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Drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

 

Jul
14

TAA_R2_EDIT-CS3

 

 

Yesterday I wrote about Ten Trust-Building Questions Leaders Should Be Asking and today I am following up with some easy suggestions and resources for accessing the trust-building answers.

Ten Trust-Building Resources for Leaders

  1. Read a book on building trust
  2. Watch a video on building trust
  3. Receive cutting edge advice by joining our Alliance
  4. Read a report on building trust
  5. Contact an expert
  6. Join a Circle of Trust
  7. Hold a workshop
  8. Plan a trust event. Make it fun!
  9. Listen to the world’s leading trust experts via 4 years of Trust Across America Radio Archives
  10. Send a note to Trust Across America-Trust Around the World. If it’s trust you are seeking, we have the resources to help. Contact: barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

 

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft

Drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.