Posts Tagged ‘character’




There is no doubt a link exists between generosity and trust. One of the great testaments to this can be found in a video produced by a surgeon named Mario Alonso Puig. But many people forget that building trust not only requires reciprocity but also a healthy balance between favors and greed.

In my current work, many of my professional contacts are very generous with their time, as am I. In fact, over the years (trust takes time and is built in incremental steps) we have built reciprocal relationships that are win/win for everyone in this growing circle, and often without the words “trust-building” ever being mentioned.

But as Trust Across America-Trust Around the World’s audience and network has grown, we have fallen victim to what I call the “favor phenomenon”, those “simple requests” usually (but not always) from virtual strangers that flood our daily inbox:

1. Will you endorse my book?

2. Can I be a guest on your radio show?

3. Can you make an introduction to __________?

4. Can you help me raise money?

5. Can you get me a speaking engagement?

6. Will you come to my conference and pay to do so?

7. Will you donate to my charity?

8. Will you follow me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn?

Can you, will you, can you, will you? One pattern I’ve noticed is these folks, more often than not, have never engaged with us in the past, and may be the same people who claim to be “very busy.” So busy, in fact, that they have no time to build relationships.

Imagine how much faster trust might be built if these “favor askers” lead with trust!

1. I’ve read your book and just wrote an endorsement for you on Amazon.

2. I know of a media opportunity that I believe would be a perfect fit for you.

3. I would like to introduce you to _____________.

4. I want to donate to your cause.

5. I think you would be the perfect speaker at this event.

6. Please be my guest at my conference.

7. I’d like to make a donation to your favorite charity.

8. I follow you on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and have spent time familiarizing myself with the work you do. Here’s an example of your work that resonates with me.

And by the way, would you mind doing a small favor for me?

So why doesn’t this happen more often? Because most people, in their all-consuming quest to “get” something that provides a short-term benefit ONLY to themselves, also forget (or never learned) that:

  • Leading with trust is essential in every healthy relationship, be it personal or business
  • Trust is reciprocal
  • Trust takes time to build.

It’s quite simple and certainly not rocket science. Try it. The long-term benefits may surprise you.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust, and runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in the subject. 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.

Our annual poster, 52 Weeks of Activities to Increase Organizational Trust is available to those who would like to support our work by making a small donation.

Did you know we have published 3 books in our award-winning TRUST Inc. series. They are yours when you join our Alliance.

Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.





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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.

The headlines speak for themselves…

  • Trust in business is down
  • Washington can’t be trusted
  • The NFL has trust issues.

….or do they? 

Have you ever paused to consider that businesses, Washington and the NFL are all run by people?  Institutions are only as trustworthy as those who lead them. In reality, we don’t have a crisis of trust. We have too many “low trust” leaders.

Trust is built on three pillars: Character, competence & consistency. If the first of these pillars comes naturally, the second two are easy to construct. How do you measure character? Michael Josephson has built his “Character Counts” program on 6 pillars. Notice the first is trustworthiness.

If you lead an organization and the headlines are continuously working against you, take a few minutes to consider the following:

  • Do you cheat or deceive others?
  • Are you reliable? (consistency)
  • Do you keep your word?
  • Do you have courage to do the right thing?
  • Do you have a good reputation? (competence)
  • Are you loyal?
  • Do you stand by your family, friends and country?

You may have noticed that competence and consistency are attributes of good character. If organizations were run by people who could answer “Yes” to all these questions, or even took the time to consider them, the headlines would read differently.

Being trustworthy is not rocket science. It’s simply a choice. Make it yours.

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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Earlier this week I was given a gift, the opportunity to chat about trust with 150 very smart college kids, members of the millennial generation. 

A small group met for dinner before class, including two international students who shared their stories about trust and cultural differences. For example, in some countries it is impolite to make eye contact with someone who is older. This is viewed as disrespectful and untrustworthy. Imagine walking into a job interview in the US and being unwilling to make eye contact with the interviewer!

We began our class discussion by asking three questions but ran short on time before the third topic.

Question #1: Whom do you trust the most?

Answer #1: Family- Mother, father and siblings. We discussed the special bonds among family members that create trustworthy relationships and how these same characteristics translate into larger organizations.

  1. Familiarity
  2. Longevity
  3. Common values
  4. Having “your back”
  5. Culture

Question #2: What company do you trust the most?

Answer #2: Google and Apple- The water became a bit murky as the students  explored differences between “liking a product” and “trusting a company” and between consumer perceptions and organizational trustworthiness.

We discussed the lack of transparency at these particular companies and the chapter in our book Trust Inc., addressing Apple as a case study in trust. Several students shared their strong beliefs about corporate responsibility vs. corporate window dressing.

The discussion then turned to:

Target’s security breach: The majority concluded that the breach will not inhibit them from shopping at Target.

Trust in government:  The students felt strongly that our government does a good job to protect its citizens. They accept that lying is the “norm” in politics. Many said they would vote for Chris Christie even if a determination is made that he lied about the lane closures in Fort Lee.

Wrapping up, we reminded the kids that they live in an era of radical transparency. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to hide bad behavior.

We emphasized the importance of entering the work force with not only a clean slate, but also knowledge of the importance of leading with trust.

Bottom line, the students were very engaged in the “trust conversation.”  Perhaps it should be held on more college campuses. What do you think?

Share your comments with me.

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