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Trust Danger Signs



Late last year Trust Across America-Trust Around the World  published the first in a planned series of award-winning books.  TRUST INC., Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset brings together the wisdom of 32 experts. Six months later we released our second book, Trust Inc. A Guide for Boards & C-SuitesIn this book, sixty experts have joined forces to offer 100 strategies.

Throughout the month of August, we will be featuring 31 essays from our second book. Each stands alone as an excellent resource in guiding Boards and C-Suites on driving a trust agenda at the highest level in the organization, and provides tools for those who choose to implement trust-building programs in their organization.

This twenty-first essay brings advice from Bob Whipple, CEO of Leadergrow Inc a company dedicated to improving leadership in organizations. He is also a professional speaker and a member of National Speakers Association.  He has been named by Leadership Excellence Magazine one of the top 15 consultant thought leaders in the country on leadership development.  Bob  is also a 2014 Top Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business and a member of the Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts.

Danger Signs for Stress Between Top Management and BOD

The best organizations have a synergistic relationship between the BOD and senior managers. While there is always some tension relative to methods and the magnitude of goals, a spirit of mutual alignment exists that allows the two teams to operate in tandem with efficiency and mutual support.

Sometimes we see an unhealthy atmosphere where the groups are generating enough friction that the relationship is dysfunctional. How can you spot the divergence of thinking while it is in the formative and corrective stages? There is a telltale signature that exists in the extant data in electronic communication records.

Look for the flavor of “we versus they” in the wording of e-mails. Whenever senior managers are writing to each other about an upcoming BOD meeting or other interface, are the pronouns showing a schism or do they indicate mutual support? When BOD members interact online, does the evidence show a typical frustration, like if only “we” can get “them” to do thus and so.

Of course, there are major signals given in the body language whenever these two groups interface in person, but if you know how to read in between the lines of e-mails, the signs are easily spotted long before a face to face meeting. That can lead to corrective action before polarized attitudes are entrenched.

The most important corrective action is to ensure excellent alignment between these two groups who need to be on the same team and act that way.

I hope you have enjoyed this next sneak peak into our second book. If this brief look behind the door has been helpful, follow this link to order both of our books online.

And for those who want to catch up on the series, a quick reference on what’s been covered so far this month:

August 1: There’s a Reason Why We Call Them Trustees explains why being an “absentee landlord” doesn’t work.

August 2: Kill the Evening Before Dinner and take a small group of front line employees to dinner instead.

August 3: In Head of Business- Hope for the World we introduce the Winston “V” Model.

August 4: Reputation vs. Trust and why leaders should care more about the latter.

August 5: C-Suite Must Speak With a V.O.I.C.E. of Trust, a new communications model.

August 6: It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way You Do It) discusses an organization’s core values and traits.

August 7: Superficial CEOs and Their Boards talks about the fiduciary responsibility of board members.

August 8: Headline: Be the Leaders Others Will Follow we learn about consistency between actions and words.

August 9: Towards a Mindset for Corporate Responsibility requiring a shift in mindset on the part of boards.

August 10: Warning: Don’t Drown in the Slogan Swamp explores the (mis)use of slogans in corporate America.

August 11: Trust in the Boardroom in creating competitive advantage.

August 12: Three Ways to Build Trust  and organization that are blind to the dialogue.

August 13: Lead from the Front explains why it’s important to remove the filters between leaders and employees.

August 14: Building Trust For Boards & C-Suites and why published scientific evidence is important.

August 15: (Trust) Communication & the Hiring Process discusses engaging employees in the decision.

August 16: CEO Tip: Trust Your Board as Your Ally emphasizes the importance of trusting partnerships.

August 17: The Culture is the Secret Sauce that must bubble down from the Boardroom to the Mailroom.

August 18: Trust & Strategy Thinking reminds us that it is hard to trust when you cannot relate.

August 19: Be Proactive About Trust & Integrity: just handling problems as they arise is not enough.

August 20: Trust Traps: reminds us to ask the tough questions.

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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Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

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