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Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

Mar
17

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I was recently watching a John Oliver YouTube video about televangelists whose charities are somewhat suspicious, and it got me thinking about experts, “gurus” and “influencers.” Sadly, there are plenty of phony preachers in that space too. In fact, a colleague likes to remind me that not all trust experts are trustworthy. Imagine that!

These are some first-hand examples of phony preachers:

  • The leadership “consultant” who seeks out sound bytes from those with real expertise for an upcoming paid speaking “gig.” After all, why pass up the opportunity to get paid even if it’s for a speech you are not qualified to deliver.
  • The prolific leadership “writer” whose work is never written by them or even original. Quotes lifted from famous philosophers, entire blog entries cut and pasted from the work of others. And when called out, lies about it.
  • The world “renowned” nominee who asks for a vote for “Thinkers 50,” but who freely “borrows” PowerPoint and Slideshare presentations from those with genuine expertise, and when caught redhanded, brushes it off.
  • The “character expert” who writes about plagiarism, but doesn’t bother to check (or care) whether those whose work they themselves reference is original or plagiarized.
  • The “trust guru” who forgets to say “thank you” when a good deed is done for them.

Is it any wonder that trust continues to decline across all major institutions? After all, if the advisors, coaches, thought leaders, experts and influencers are not living that which they preach (and that’s being polite,) what other outcome could possibly be expected?

But every story has a silver lining. It’s called a bell curve and like any business, even in “trust” there are some real deals. I am honored to know many of them who have been named to our annual Top Thought Leaders in Trust over the past seven years.

In the early years of this annual recognition, someone suggested that there need not be a requirement that the honorees walk their talk. Imagine that suggestion! The “real deals” are not those who are the most active on social media or who claim a (t00) long laundry list of accomplishments. Instead, they are often the voice you may not hear, and whose name you may not recognize… researchers, scholars, consultants and leaders who have put in their time, paid their dues, and have earned the privilege to speak, consult and guide others. People with real credentials who know what trust is and act accordingly.

When I was a kid, my dad liked to remind me not to allow anyone to “pull a snow job.” If you’ve never heard that expression, Merriam-Webster offers the following definition: “a strong effort to make someone believe something by saying things that are not true or sincere.

Anyone can call themselves an expert. It’s up to the “buyer” to determine if they’ve earned the right to use that title.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Barbara also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance, is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a NJ registered investment advisor. In 2012 Barbara was named one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International, and in 2017 she was named a “Fellow” of the Governance & Accountability Institute. Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA.

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May
06

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When a baby decides it is time to be born…”the show must go on.”

Such was the case on January 23, 2016 when approximately 103 million people were affected by a blizzard that hit the east coast of the US, requiring eleven states to declare emergencies, including New Jersey.

Assisted by local EMTs, the healthy baby was delivered at home on the living room couch, the second child of a couple with a fully paid health insurance policy. But the extreme weather conditions and treacherous roads required both the healthy mother and her new baby to be transported to the closest hospital, not one designated by the family’s insurance plan, and certainly not through any special requests on the family’s part. In less than 24 hours, both mother and child were released from the “unaffiliated” hospital, returning home to celebrate their new arrival.

But the biggest surprise for this family was yet to arrive.

The following week a hospital bill was delivered for $53,000. And in case you are not totally shocked by that number, it didn’t include subsequent invoices from the EMTs, emergency room doctors, nor the $39.00 adult diaper that was “sold” to the mother following delivery, to name just a few “incidentals” that brought the total “hit” to over $60,000.

Now this family, who should be bonding and celebrating the birth of their healthy second child, is instead:

1) Faced with a daunting bill that no insured young middle class family could ever possibly pay, and mounds of paperwork and invoice totals that change with every postal delivery.

2) Spending countless hours away from their children and professional obligations listening to prerecorded messages claiming “our menus have changed,” “your call is important to us” and “we are experiencing unusually high call volume.”

The following are some not so simple questions for insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, miscellaneous health services providers and any other parties who would like to weigh in on this story:

What responsibility, if any, do organizations have to ensure their customers are treated fairly, ethically and in a trustworthy manner?

Has corporate greed and the “maximization of shareholder value” permanently replaced doing what’s right?

If this child had been born to a family with no health insurance what would their bill be?

How can this family, who believed they had done everything “right” except better timing the birth of their baby, expeditiously resolve this and “get on” with what matters and their daily lives?”

I suppose the moral of the story is “buyer beware:” 

Even under the most extreme circumstances caused by acts of nature, thousands of dollars in monthly health insurance premiums don’t “cut it” once companies are asked to honor their obligations and do the right thing. Why is this so?

Please send any suggestions or advice to barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Feb
25

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Today marks the release of a new book (UK & Canada, US in early April) by Peter Cook called “Leading Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise” with Bloomsbury books. I met Peter through my friend and colleague Nadine Hack, and was fortunate to have Peter include our FACTS Framework in his new book. Nadine, Peter and I are firm believers in the power of collaboration. I asked Peter for some insights into the book, the 11th he has written or contributed to over 21 years in business.

What should readers expect to gain from this book?

Bloomsbury commissioned the book due to the unique synthesis of theory and practice in the art and discipline of creating great ideas and converting them into even greater innovations in business, society and the world. Leading Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise draws upon durable concepts and research from academia, rather than the latest management fads. 

 The book includes many case studies and deals with questions such as:

  • What are the roots of creativity and imagination?
  • How can we create the physiological and mental states under which creativity happens naturally rather than having to rely on creative thinking tools like some kind of mental crutch?
  • How can you lead Brain Based Enterprises?
  • What is the role of technique in engendering creativity within teams?  What are the most effective and reliable recipes for team based creativity?
  • How do culture, leadership style and values support or limit innovation and creativity?
  • Leading Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise is informed by academia but not stuffy in its writing style. An unusually good fusion, which I call ‘pracademic’.

How did you get Sir Richard Branson and Sir James Dyson’s involvement?  

The headline answer to your question is through networking. I’d won a prize for my work in leadership from Richard Branson. This led to gaining a job as an author for Virgin.com and delivering events that blend music and business for Virgin. By the time I asked for the interview I was almost a family member! Although this seems simple, I observe almost daily that people expect to gain similar results without the investment of time and care that often goes into a relationship based on trust. (Amen, Peter!)

I know trust matters in your work. How do you think about it?

Although it is very difficult to quantify, we all know someone who is trustworthy when we see it. A case in point arose recently in my dealings with Marcus Ryle, CEO of Line 6, who make guitar effects units. I had a problem with my Line 6 HD POD500X, as used by the likes of Elbow, Avril Lavigne and session musicians who work with Eric Clapton, Pink and Van Morrison. I could not be more impressed with the turnaround that Marcus performed. Moreover, because he handled the issue personally as well when I’m sure he had better things to do. If more companies were able to act in this way, their reputations would soar and their repeat business with it.

Your own work in terms of demonstrating the “net present value of trust” is a vital contribution to the debate. It seems that corporations need proof for such things to “move the dial” in terms of behaviour. Although I’m in no doubt as to the value of trust at a personal level in my own dealings with people as I m sure you are as well, we do need the data to help people place a value on doing the right things in corporate life these days.

What do you see as the future in terms of ethical leadership?

The 1970’s was a tipping point for business ethics when Milton Friedman wrote his article in The New York Times, where he stated that the primary role of a business was to make money for its shareholders. This was followed by Agency Theory in 1976 which completed the volte face from the more humanistic outlook on the purpose of businesses. Managerialism has probably informed the last 40 years of corporate development in leading business schools. Charles Handy, Tom Peters and I are united in our complete disagreement with Milton Friedman et al. If you look after the people, the profits look after themselves. Great leaders do the right things for their customers, their employees, society and their stakeholders.

Tell us a bit about yourself. What prompted you to write this book?

Creativity has been at the heart of the three passions that have fueled my life – science, business and music.  When I was four years old I wanted to be in The Beatles. By nine, I wanted to be a brain scientist. At 18, I joined a pharmaceutical company as a chemist and traveled the world, fixing factories and scaling up life-saving drugs, including the world’s first treatment for HIV / AIDS. By 29 I became fascinated with management and started working in a Business School alongside my day job. At 34, I started my own business and some 5 years later I began the synthesis of science, business and music via The Academy of Rock. Creativity has been a constant in my three “Shumpeterian” 18-year long cycles of innovation in my life. The book has therefore been maturing for nearly 20 years, having written my first book on creativity and innovation in 1996. This represents tens of thousands of hours of diverse experience, working as a business practitioner across a wide range of sectors and fueling my thinking via my work as an MBA academic and adventurer. Crossing the chasm from science to art has informed my writing as a business consultant much more than traditional MBA driven textbooks.

Thank you for granting this interview and for including us in your book.  Best of luck Peter and “Rock on.”

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO & Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust and integrity. She facilitates the world’s largest membership program for those interested in the subject. Barbara also serves 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 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

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Jul
08

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What happens when a group of openminded trust, ethics and compliance experts meet for lunch to discuss the intersection of the three disciplines?

One of the tasks at hand was to create a visual representation of the functional interaction between compliance, ethics and trust in an organization.

 

CET3

Copyright (c) 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

 

What does this mean?

Compliance: While organizations require compliance as a minimum “rule setting/obeying standard,” compliance does not necessarily have an ethics OR a trust mandate. Compliance is merely the starting point, not the end. In fact, it can be trust’s worst enemy when it is assumed that compliance encompasses trust and ethics. Compliance is regulated while ethics and trust are voluntary. In most companies, this distinction is not made and the C&E Officer is usually an attorney who simply enforces the “laws.” He or she may have no understanding of ethics, let alone trust.

Ethics: The “character” component of trust is ethics, and unlike compliance, it is a personal choice. It’s the individual and organizational value system that must be debated, decided and set in place by the Board of Directors, not the CEO.  A Chief Ethics Officer, not a C&E Officer, is the distiller of these values. He or she need not be an attorney. So what role does trust play? Unfortunately, both individuals and organizations can be “ethical” without being trustworthy because there are two more attributes that must be present for trust to flourish.

Trust: In order for an individual or organization to be trustworthy it must, at a minimum exhibit not only character (ethics) but competence and consistency in all internal and external relationships. “High trust” companies understand the distinction between compliance, ethics and trust. Going beyond compliance and ethics by adding the trust component results in:

  • Less need/emphasis on compliance and it’s oppressive laws and regulations
  • Greater employee satisfaction and lower turnover
  • Faster decision-making and innovation
  • Less risk and fewer crises
  • Better relationships not only with customers but all stakeholders
  • A happier workplace
  • Higher profitability

Companies that understand the distinctions described above and embrace trust as a business imperative are beginning to hire Chief Trust Officers (CTrO), and for good reason(s). They are the “keepers of the golden ticket,” and perhaps the organization’s most valuable employee.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in the subject. Barbara 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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May
19

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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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Oct
20

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You can develop good judgement as you do the muscles of your body –

by judicious, daily exercise.

-Grenville Kleiser-

 

Bob Vanourek of Triple Crown Leadership and a member of our Trust Alliance, was kind enough to contribute today’s guest blog post. Since trust is the cornerstone of all relationships, learning to trust our own judgement becomes essential.

Many folks are reluctant to trust their own judgment. They may feel they should not speak up when some alarm bell is going off in their head for a variety of reasons:

  • “It’s not my job to speak up.”
  • “I’m not in a position of leadership or authority.”
  • “I’m not smart enough on this topic.”
  • “I don’t have the experience needed to speak up.”

All these blocks are normal, but we need to learn to trust our own judgment and speak up when it is essential to do so.

Some issues are business related, like pricing or strategy. Indeed, one may need more experience on these subjects before venturing to speak up.

Other issues are values or ethics related, like being honest with a customer, or fudging the numbers in a report at the request of your boss. Here we each must have the courage to speak up, and it helps to have a strong ethical foundation.

Here are four ways to build your ethical foundation so that trusting your judgement becomes second nature.

  1. Write down your personal values. They are your moral compass. Here is a link to a free exercise to develop your own personal values: www.triplecrownleadership.com/resources/personalvaluesexercise/
  2. Have a small group of trusted advisors with whom you can share ethical dilemmas in confidence and gain their counsel. Under emotional stress, we can easily rationalize our behavior and begin to make ethical mistakes.
  3. Have some sanctuary place where you can reflect in solitude. Your inner voice gets shut down in our frenzied world, so find a place to meditate, hike, bike, or just relax where you can use your inner observer.
  4. Recognize it takes courage to speak up, even as a voice of one. Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the willingness to proceed in the face of fear.

Trust your own judgment on ethical issues. You’ll sleep with a clear conscience.

Bob Vanourek is a former CEO of five companies and the co-author of Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations. Bob has been one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business in 2013 and 2014. Contact him through his website: www.triplecrownleadership.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.

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

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft914Trust front Cover

                                                                                               Coming Soon!

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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Oct
13

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The ethical person should do more than he is required to do and less than he is allowed to do.  Michael Josephson

In a blog post last week I asked the question, “Where Does CSR End & Moral Responsibility Begin?” Several folks weighed in on the role of the corporation in society. The consensus was that genuine CSR is more than just a program. It is a way of doing business that embraces moral responsibility.

Today, I’d like to ask another tough question. “Where Does Compliance End & Trust and Ethics Begin?”

Doug Cornelius over at Compliance Building used the recent NFL crisis to answer the question above in this excellent article.

The answer is rather “black and white” yet in speaking about trust with corporate executives, I often hear this statement. “We are not breaking any laws, therefore we are trustworthy.”

Here’s the most simple way to differentiate compliance and trust. Compliance is mandatory while trust is voluntary. Compliance sets minimum acceptable standards while trust and ethics are what differentiate an organization from its competitors.

While it’s true that trust can’t be regulated, merely be “compliant” will not place an organization at the front of the pack. The legal team cannot assist leadership in building trust, only in staying on the “right” side of the law. An organizational trust imperative first requires an acceptance that compliance is not enough, that trust and ethics must be embraced as a business imperative. The rest is easy.

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.

PrintND Trust CEO cvr 140602-ft914Trust front Cover

                                                                                               Coming Soon!

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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Sep
16

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The Rutger’s University President has issued an apology to the Penn State President for offensive actions of Rutger’s fans at a recent football game.

Did he do the right thing? Was he extending trust?  Was this an act of integrity and ethics?

I’m on the fence on this one.

But this I know. Build trust and avoid crises and scandals (or at least minimize their impact).

Fail to proactively build trust, and the fallout from a scandal will continue for years.

What do you think? Please 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-ft914Trust front Cover

                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

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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Jul
19

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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. 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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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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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.

 

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Jul
10

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Yesterday I wrote about a commonly repeated expression “Trust Takes Years to Build But Can Be Lost In a Second” and why I believe that it doesn’t always hold true.  Then late in the afternoon I saw another interesting and somewhat popular statement “Character, Either You Have it Or You Don’t.”

The actual quote is credited to Anthony Bourdain.

 

“Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.”


― Anthony BourdainKitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

 

Sorry, but again I have to disagree. Character is a learned trait. It is a skill that can be honed throughout life.  It’s built from our earliest experiences, our family values and the influence of our childhood friends. In other words, it’s mostly “nurture” not “nature.”

Michael Josephson (Josephson Institute) created a popular youth-centered program called Character Counts. His framework contains basic values called the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. The program has been working effectively for decades. I like that the first pillar is trustworthiness.

So it seems that character is really a lifelong learning opportunity for those with an open mind and a motivation to elevate it. With the right mentor, the right leader, the right boss, the right spouse, the right friends, character can be learned and perfected throughout life. There is no deadline for developing character.

Imagine if C-Suite compensation was partially based on an annual character test! Would we see a sudden and positive shift in the way businesses are run? What do you think?

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

 

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