Posts Tagged ‘core values’


“Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work.”Warren Bennis

Having counseled leaders across many industries on how to elevate stakeholder trust, I can almost assure you that you won’t come close to passing our 10-question test. Fortunately, the failing grade is usually not due to character or competence flaws, but a lack of understanding of the role of trust as a core value of leadership. Are you willing to take the following test AND the actions required to elevate your results?

*** Warning your degree of honesty and vulnerability may affect your score***

 Give yourself ten points for every “yes” answer.

  1. Do I understand that trust is not a soft skill and that it has tangible value?
  2. Have I thought about what it means to be trustworthy in both my personal and professional life?
  3. Is trust mentioned in my company’s core values and do I practice and reinforce those values daily?
  4. Do I understand that trust is the outcome of principled behavior and have I identified the behavioral weaknesses?
  5. Do I understand that trust cannot be delegated and that low trust is a real risk?
  6. Have I asked my employees and other stakeholders if they think I am trustworthy?
  7. Do I understand that trust is a learned competence, and have I budgeted for trust training for both my leadership team and my staff?
  8. Do I directly engage my employees and my customers in conversations about trust?
  9. Do I catch employees doing something right and reward ethical behavior?
  10. Does trust play a role in my hiring practices?

What was your final  score?


Business leaders are constrained by the number of hours in a day, and how they choose to prioritize their time. Many spend it reacting to crises and extinguishing fires caused by low trust. If more leaders not only understood the benefits of high trust, but actually took the steps required to elevate it, their time would be freed up to build a more profitable business much more quickly. Low trust plays a large role in elevating enterprise risk, yet is is widely ignored. Take the questions above and tackle them one at a time. Each 10% improvement will get you closer to high trust.

PS- Don’t fall for expensive trust workarounds that may be offered to you. While they may get you a communications “talking point,” they won’t get you across the enterprise trust finish line. In fact, they won’t even get you close.


Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its 12th year, the program has developed two proprietary trust-evaluation tools, the latest is AIM Towards Trust. She also runs the world largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series. Kimmel is a former consultant to McKinsey who has worked across multiple industries and with senior leadership. She holds a bachelor’s in international affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch.

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Copyright © 2020 Next Decade, Inc.


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Who would you nominate as a Top Thought Leader for 2016?

For the 6th year, the search has again begun! Trust Across America-Trust Around the World seeks to identify global Top Thought Leaders to join our roster of past honorees and our Lifetime Achievement Award Winners including Patricia Aburdene, Bill George, Jim Kouzes and Jeffrey Seglin.

It’s hard to remain optimistic about organizational trust.  Global scandals abound in business, sports, media, academia and politics, to name just a few. And organizations like Edelman and Gallup continue to report on declines in trust across all major organizational groups.  But as we’ve said for years, industry is not destiny.

Since 2010 Trust Across America-Trust Around the World has sought to identify thought leaders whose professional work encourages the “right” core values in organizations, supporting and fostering a climate of trust. We celebrate professionals from a variety of disciplines including leadership, teamwork, collaboration, values, culture, ethics, governance, compliance, corporate responsibility, etc., who are transforming the way organizations do business, and who also “walk their talk.”

Many of our past honorees are well-known CEOs, authors and leadership advisors, while others are quietly working behind the scenes as teachers and researchers. We acknowledge and reward all their efforts in elevating societal trust and look forward to reviewing this year’s pool of nominees.

Who would you nominate as a Trust Across America-Trust Around the World 2016 Top Thought Leader?

Please feel free to share this link , read our 2015 press release, or send us a note with comments and suggestions. Email to:

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO & Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations identify their core values to build trust. She facilitates the world’s largest membership program for those interested in the subject. Barbara also servers as 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.

Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.




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If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else. Yogi Berra

  • Does your organization have a mission statement?
  • How about core values and operating principles?
  • How often do you as the leader read them?
  • How often do you discuss them with your team?

No leader can build a trust-based organization without laying the foundation first. 

This is the mission of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World. We call it “Words We Live By.”



Our MISSION is to help enhance trustworthy behavior in organizations. This will be accomplished with:

  • URGENCY. Shining the spotlight on the critical importance of trustworthy organizational behavior.
  • LEADERSHIP. Identifying thought leaders around the world who are advancing the trust and integrity movement.
  • IDEAS. Serving as a clearinghouse for thoughtful ideas in the areas of trust and integrity.
  • EXCHANGE. Providing forums that encourage networking, collaboration, and the sharing of best practices among thought leaders.
  • METRICS. Providing the most comprehensive, objective and unbiased frameworks and metrics.
  • CHANGE. Raising the bar by showcasing best practices.
  • ACTION. Bridging the gap between theory and day-to-day organizational practices.
  • SUCCESS. Promoting the correlation between operating within a trustworthy framework and achieving success.

And these are our Core Values and Principles:

Core Values and Principles

  • Integrity

    To operate with the highest levels of integrity in all that we do.

  • Quality

    To collaborate with highly respected, ethical individuals and organizations.

    To share the ideas of highly respected thought leaders who want to advance the cause of organizational trust and are not out for personal gain.

    To create the most integrated, comprehensive and holistic methodology for evaluating trustworthy behavior.

  • Community

    To build a flexible, entrepreneurial organization with a low cost structure. This is achieved by supplementing our core group of professionals with a “community” of highly specialized individuals and firms that share our values.

  • Objectivity

    To align our organization with respected leaders and organizations that have established solid reputations of unbiased professionalism in their fields.

    To measure company trustworthiness using external independent data and not allowing companies to “game the system” by completing in-house questionnaires.

    To ensure that there is no quid pro quo in return for association with or participation in Trust Across America – Trust Around the World.

    To fund the organization without displaying favoritism or giving the perception of an implied endorsement. As such, we will not accept any form of advertising on our website.

  • Credibility

    To shine the spotlight on “The Most Trustworthy Companies” and help them share best practices. (We will not engage in a race to expose “offenders.”)

  • Success

    To improve organizational trustworthiness around the world, achieve growth and profitability, offer quality services, and strengthen win-win relationships with world-class thought leaders who define excellence.

If you choose not to invest the time in building a foundation of trust for your organization, the road you take may lead you to the wrong destination.

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.

Nominations are now being accepted for Trust Across America-Trust Around the World’s 5th annual Global Top Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business.

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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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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.

The sixth essay in our series brings us the wisdom of Alan Williams, Managing Director of SERVICEBRAND GLOBAL, who coaches service sector organizations, internationally and in the UK, to deliver inspiring service for competitive advantage. Alan created the 31Practices concept and approach and is co-author of the book THE 31 PRACTICES: release the power of your organisation’s VALUES every day. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a Board member of the British Quality Foundation and a Steering Group member of the recently formed UK Values Alliance.

“It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)” [1]

Core values are traits or qualities representing deeply held beliefs. In an organization, values (explicit or implicit) define what it stands for and how it is seen and experienced by stakeholders (customers, employees, service partners, suppliers and communities). 

The tone is set by every employee. People notice how leaders of an organisation behave.  Yet, wherever you are, you have influence on those around you.  The organization is only as good as each of the component parts.

The power of living values is described by David MacLeod, Chair of the UK Government-sponsored Employee Engagement Task Force in the UK: “All organizations have some values on the wall. What we found was that when those values were different from what colleagues and bosses do, that brings distrust. When they align, then it creates trust.”[2]

The transparency brought by the internet and social media will arguably bring the importance of values into even sharper focus than ever before. Organizations are no longer what they say they are but what others say they are.

[1]Probably best known for the version by The Fun Boy Three and Bananarama 1982  but in fact, the original version is a calypso song written by jazz musicians Melvin “Sy” Oliver and James “Trummy” Young. It was first recorded in 1939 by Jimmie Lunceford, Harry James, and Ella Fitzgerald.

[2] Laura Chamberlain (2012). Four key enablers to employee engagement, Personnel Today, 27th January 2012. 

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


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

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

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.




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