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Welcome to TRUSTGiving 2014, our first annual weeklong trust awareness campaign.  Join the Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts as our members help our readers navigate the complexities of trust. We will be blogging (several times a day) and posting on Twitter #TrustGiving2014.

Holly Latty- Mann has some further advice for building trust during meetings.

You may have caught an earlier post regarding opportunities to build trust at the onset of your weekly management or departmental meeting. Because people tend to remember the first and final activities of meetings, let’s now take a look at tangible ways you can end your team meetings that can promote a more meaningful trust level between and among your team members. Again the activities take on the nature of willful sharing, and as such can serve as a crude measure of your company culture within the context of interpersonal comfort and social trust. 

The end-of-meeting activity is purposefully shorter and lighter than the onset checking-in activity so that even the most reserved team members feel they have a viable place to engage.  With time these more reticent respondents may ultimately share at a deeper level such as the challenges of having a special needs child at home. This is when team members begin experiencing one another as real live human beings with a heartbeat. Team members invariably begin reaching out to one another in a show of support, even sharing similar experiences within their own life.

Consider the following brief activities to end your meeting. The content can either convey familial caring or offer a welcomed sense of levity. Either way, you can begin forging meaningful human connections with one another through these small, caring gestures:

End with a quote, as most quotes impart a wisdom regarding how to enhance life and living,

Offer meaningful information or tips such as the 4-7-8 breathing exercise to help manage stress,

Share a brief human interest story (maybe your own), news item, or even a joke or recipe, and

Invite other team members to share their favorite quote, tips, restaurants, and such. 

The degree of team sharing carries its commensurate level of team trust.  When we break momentarily from “work as usual,” we’re acknowledging the human side of one another where humor, sensitivity, and a certain sacred spirituality reside.  We are acknowledging the poet, the parent, the philosopher, and adventurer in one another among many other possibilities when we share from a diversity of resources. When we engage one another on a human level that forgets titles and job roles, we are providing the kind of psychological milieu that allows the spillover of good will and trust to permeate all interpersonal relationship dynamics throughout the organization and beyond.

Holly Latty-Mann, PhD, president and owner of The Leadership Trust®, uses her two doctorates in psychology to heighten and crystallize self-awareness and emotional intelligence at root-cause level. Her holistic, integrative model extends to the team and organizational levels to embolden trust-based collaborative efforts, thereby expediting both the creation and delivery of her clients’ innovative products and services. Contact Holly and learn more through

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 and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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TrustGiving 2014 Logo-Final


Welcome to TRUSTGiving 2014, our first annual weeklong trust awareness campaign.  Join the Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts as our members help our readers navigate the complexities of trust. We will be blogging (several times a day) and posting on Twitter #TrustGiving2014.

Deb Mills-Scofield provides some insight on the intersection of trust and risk taking.

Taking risk requires trust – to discover, try, re-try, be okay with uncertainty, imperfection and even fail.  That’s why learning how to inexpensively and quickly Experiment-Learn-Apply-Iterate is critical to building trust.

Experiment: Identify a market, customer segment or business model that needs shaking up.  Start with the market/customer needs first, not the solution, the product or service.  I call this “Rushing to Discover, Not to Solve.” Create a cross-functional team with air cover so they are free to try things.  Create some prototypes of potential solutions after you’ve discovered!

Learn:  Watch how your customers respond to your prototype.  Remember, this is still an experiment and you’re still testing hypotheses. Watch them use it, touch it, interact with it. Watch how they respond to what it does/doesn’t do, where their eyes go first, where they seem stumped or frustrated, where they seem excited.  Ask questions to clarify and understand, not to advise or judge.

Apply:  Take this learning and change your potential solutions, prototypes, accordingly.  You will be wrong about a lot! Go back to your customers with the changed prototypes and test again.  The purpose is to test your hypotheses so you can create a solution that really meets your customers needs, not your needs.

Iterate:  Repeat Experiment-Learn-Apply until you create a meaningful, valuable solution for your customers or determine you can’t. 

The ELAI model is pretty straightforward.  Don’t overcomplicate it.  Get out and do it! You’ll be surprised at the level of trust and know-how you create!

Deborah Mills-Scofield has her own consultancy on innovation and strategy & is a partner in a Venture Capital firm.  Deb writes for Harvard Business Review, Switch and Shift & other venues, including her blog, & has contributed to several books. Her Bell Labs patent was one of AT&T & Lucent’s highest-revenue generating patents.  She can be reached at @dscofield or

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 and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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“The rotten apple spoils his companion.” Benjamin Franklin

Yesterday John Baldoni published a thought provoking article in Forbes  Trust Matters Even to the NFL, and he was kind enough to include some of my thoughts.

At Trust Across America-Trust Around the World we believe that often the most well-deserving, shiniest apples are not those that get the most press coverage. The Manning family, and Eli in particular, have been vocal about the issue of domestic violence and its negative impact on the NFL’s image. Eli is not alone. There are many players in the NFL with high integrity and character. We should not forget this.

Regardless of the organization, when a crisis occurs, it become the problem of every stakeholder, whether they are innocent or guilty. It is important to remember that trust is built in incremental steps. In the course of doing so, the organization, and its leadership, bank trust. When a crisis strikes, they are better prepared and the blow is softened.

Let’s not blame the Eli Manning’s or the NFL “team” for the bad apples, or the resulting fallout from the latest scandal.

This story is really no different than General Motors. Rotten cultures produce rotten apples.

The NFL did not take the proactive steps required to bank trust in their organization, nor to build a trustworthy culture.

Quite simply, that’s a leadership issue. If trust is embraced as a business imperative, the next crisis just might be avoided.

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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                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.



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Yesterday at lunch my colleague made a statement I hear rather frequently.

“It takes years to build trust but it can be destroyed in a second.”

I don’t agree.

A person with high integrity, a leader with outstanding character, an organization that has committed the time to build a trust bank account will not have trust destroyed as quickly as those who haven’t.

Yes, trust building takes time.  In the long run it’s worth it. Your next misstep (and we all make them) may not be the one that brings down the house.

Why not start today?

What do you think? Leave your comments below or  send them along.



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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Leaders Often Overlook the Obvious
Remember, What You Give is Often What You Get 


The following comments are sure to reduce the level of trust among your team.
How often have you heard these?


  • Who works for whom?
  • Because I said so.
  • Fudge it if you don’t know.
  • Who do you think you are?
  • Not now.
  • So what? Who cares?
  • Don’t make a mistake.
  • Who do you think you’re talking to?
  • My door is closed for a reason.
  • Because I make the rules.

What would you add to this list of things trustworthy leaders should never say?

Please share your comments and suggestions! Email:

Barbara 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.

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 How costly are hidden agendas in building and maintaining trusted personal and professional relationships?

This morning a friend of mine told me that her “significant other” asked what she assumed to be a straightforward and thoughtful question.  Was she interested in making a family trip into New York City for a few hours this weekend?   She almost agreed, but something didn’t feel quite right. His question seemed somehow out of character. Turns out she was right. There was a hidden agenda. What he needed was someone to sit in a double parked vehicle while he transported a heavy box from his office. I don’t mean to kick my friend’s husband to the curb, literally or figuratively, but being the victim of a hidden agenda can bust trust very quickly.

An alternative scenario would have been for the husband to tell his wife he needed to pick up some boxes and ask if she would be willing to play “taxi.” This conversation would have created a more level playing field. Bottom line, no trip to NY and some level of trust rebuilding required.

In business, I’ve seen lots of hidden agendas, and the end result is always the same. Trust disappears in a nanosecond, and it can’t always be rebuilt.

Here are just a few typical “Danger Ahead” signals:

1. The colleague, coworker or manager who asks how they can help  but seeks out a favor in the same conversation.

2. The colleague, coworker or manager who  talks nice to your face, but not so nice behind your back.

3. The colleague, coworker or manager who wants to hear about your latest ideas, only to copy or take credit for them.

4. The colleague, coworker or manager who calls you “partner” but once they get what they want, the word “partner” is no longer in their vocabulary.

5. The colleague, coworker or manager who says “trust me.”

Some claim a relationship of trust cannot exist without character, competency and consistency. My belief is that all the competency and consistency in the world will not build or maintain trust in a relationship if the “character factor” is missing. What do you think?

Barbara Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World and editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series.

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Has the time come for a






                             in Leadership?



Become a Trust “VIP”


Values– define and communicate your values

Integrity- be honest and moral in your relationships

Promises- be accountable and deliver on all promises, small or large




Come join us as we make 2014 the year of Trustworthy Leadership.

Barbara Kimmel, Executive Director, Trust Across America – Trust Around the World

Editor: Trust Inc. Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset

Trust Inc.

Trust Inc.

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With the right plan, any leader can build trust!

Trust Across America – Trust Around the World offers this 2014 gift to all leaders – twelve months of trust-building activities. Help us elevate trust by incorporating these strategies into your own organization.

January: Trustworthy leadership – A culture of trust cannot exist with an untrustworthy leader. Trustworthy behavior must start at the top and flow down through every manager in any organization.

February: Transformation – Productivity and execution begin when the leader creates a set of values and goals that are shared, accepted and adopted by all stakeholders. Leaders should regularly address all stakeholders about the steps being taken to build trustworthy behavior within the organization. Trust should not be confused with compliance.

March: Tools – There are many trust “tools” leaders can use to build trust with their internal and external stakeholders. These run the gamut from metrics and assessments to online surveys and training.

April: Treatment – The Golden Rule says to “treat others the way you want to be treated.” This certainly holds true for trust. The leader that extends trust to his or her stakeholders is more likely to have it returned.

May: Teamwork – Teamwork leads to better decisions and better outcomes. Teams create trust, and trust creates teams, especially when silos are broken down.

June: 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.” In fact, evidence is mounting that a trustworthy culture and profitability go hand in hand.

July: Truth – Truth-telling is at the core of trust. Any leader who wants to build a trustworthy organization must have an extremely comfortable relationship with the truth. No company is perfect and it’s not necessary to air all the dirty laundry – just don’t lie about it or intentionally mislead. In times of crisis, a habit of truth telling yields particularly good returns.

August: Transparency – Merriam Webster defines “transparent” as visibility or accessibility of information, especially with business practices. A leader 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.

September: 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. View them as vital contributors to a better organization.

October: Tolerance – A trusted leader is open to new ideas that may not align with his own. Tolerance empowers stakeholders with ownership and leads to higher engagement at all levels.

November: Time – Building a culture of trustworthy business does not happen overnight. It takes time, maybe even years – but not decades. The leader who invests the time to educate himself or herself about how to build trust with teams and stakeholders — then develops a plan, communicates and implements it – will be rewarded with greater stakeholder trust. When a slip-up occurs, those who “banked” trust will recover faster.

December: Trust – Don’t forget that trustworthy business is not about quarterly earnings and international expansion, but rather about building long-term trust.

Yours in trust! Barbara Brooks Kimmel, Executive Director

Trust Across America – Trust Around the World

Barbara has edited a new book called Trust Inc., Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset, bringing together over 30 experts who offer advice and suggestions on elevating trust in any organization.


Copyright © 2013 Next Decade, Inc.

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Good Business New York Leading Women for 2012 has named Trust Across America’s Founder, Barbara Kimmel, among its honorees.

The accomplished women listed below inspire us, surprise us, and give us hope that the world can be a better place. Each of these determined women honored this year is working diligently to solve critical social and economic problems.

These courageous women tackle our most challenging modern issues including environmental sustainability, human rights, business trust, equitable capital allocation, social enterprise, women’s economic empowerment, and ethical leadership with indefatigable energy and dedication.

The “Good Business New York™ Leading Women of 2012” includes economists, lawyers, thought leaders, journalists, policy makers, activists, investors, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, scientists, quants, and academics. Some are known to us personally at Good-b; others are not. All of these women have been selected for their impact and effectiveness in the world of business and finance.

We live in times of crises. Critical social and economic challenges are more important than ever to address, and even more importantly to resolve. These women are among the champions and change makers who are creating real and positive change. Most of these women are well known in their circles, but none are household names. Some operate behind-the-scenes; others take center stage. Our goal atGood Business New York™ is to celebrate the important work that each of these remarkable women do everyday with committment, personal sacrifice,  passion, purpose, and sheer determination – work that might sometimes go unnoticed by the general population, but is never-the-less shaping the positive changes taking place in business and society.  At Good Business New York™, we honor the triumphs and accomplishments of these 25 Leading Women in the face of real challenges.

After eight months of deliberation and research at Good Business New York™, we have selected 25 amazing women to represent the power that one person has to make a big difference. We believe they deserve even greater recognition for the socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable work they do every day. They serve as role models for women and girls everywhere.

We celebrate these 25 dynamic women who inspire and empower us to create a better world for all. The“Good Business New York™ Leading Women for 2012” offer us hope that a more equitable and sustainable economy is possible, one that serves all levels of society fairly and responsibly and doesn’t leave millions of the world’s inhabitants out. We congratulate and applaud all of them for what they do every day for our communities and our world.

To review the complete list, please click on the link below.

“I am honored to be included among this list of outstanding women,” said Barbara Kimmel. “This recognition reconfirms that the work I am doing at Trust Across America is not only helping to restore trust in the business community, but is also being more widely acknowledged by prestigious organizations like Good Business New York”.



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 Trust Across America™, a think tank dedicated to unraveling the complexities of trustworthy business behavior, today announced the results of its second annual study of almost 2500 public companies, naming Smithfield Foods as the Most Trustworthy Public Company for 2011. Barbara Kimmel, Executive Director states: “Smithfield Foods looks to be somewhat of a “reinvention” as its score rocketed from 2010.” According to the company website, its motto is “Good Food Responsibly®. We remain 100 percent committed to environmental leadership, community involvement, employee safety, animal care and high-quality food.”

 The Trust Across America study independently analyzes over 200 data points with respect to five key corporate indicators of trustworthy business behavior: Financial stability and strength, Accounting conservativeness, Corporate integrity, Transparency, and Sustainability, aptly called FACTS™. Companies do not participate in the analysis. The framework, initially conceived and developed in 2008 with a group of academics, corporate leaders and consultants, is “the most holistic and comprehensive trust “health” checkup for public companies,” according to its founders. Kimmel points out that “There is lots of work to be done for those companies choosing to make trust a high priority. No company is perfect, nor did any receive a score of “100.” In fact, even the top ranked companies did not break 90. But we were pleased to see the average score rise this year from 2010.”

The following is a ranked list of the Top 10 Most Trustworthy Companies in America 2011

#1 Smithfield Foods (SFD), a global food company (

#2 Xcel Energy (XEL), a regional supplier of electric power and natural gas (

 #3 Nike, Inc. (NKE), a global marketer of athletic footwear, apparel and equipment (

 #4 Dole Food Company (DOLE), the world’s largest producer of high quality fruits and vegetables (

#5 Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), a semiconductor design innovator (

#6 Allergan (AGN), a global technology-driven multi-specialty healthcare company (

#7 Temple-Inland (TIN), a low-cost corrugated packaging and building products company (

#8 Herman Miller (MLHR), a designer and manufacturer of furniture (

#9 Texas Instruments (TXN), a developer of analog, digital signal processing, and semiconductor technologies (

#10 Lexmark International (LXK), a provider of printing and imaging products and software solutions (

 “We are pleased to see two companies, Texas Instruments and Lexmark International on our “Top 10” for two years in a row,” stated Kimmel. “It’s all about corporate culture. While most CEO’s aspire to run trustworthy companies, most don’t know where to start.” Trust Across America™ provides key analytical tools to begin the journey.” Frank Sonnenberg, author of the newly released book Managing with a Conscience (2nd ed.) agrees. “If businesses are to thrive in the global marketplace, they must be able to outshine the competition in critical areas such as trust. In fact, trust must be more than something that is talked about; it must be at the core of everything that is done. Trust is not an abstract, theoretical, idealistic goal forever beyond our reach. Trustworthy business behavior MUST become a priority.”

Trust Across America (TAA) is a program of Next Decade, Inc., an award-winning firm that has been unraveling and simplifying complex subjects for over 20 years. TAA provides a framework for public companies to improve trustworthy business practices through detailed individual company reports, industry and sector analyses, and an index of its data.TAA also provides a variety of media opportunities to highlight companies and leaders exhibiting high levels of trust and integrity.

For more information on this topic, or to schedule an interview with Barbara Kimmel, please call (908) 879-6625 or email