Posts Tagged ‘Frank Sonnenberg’




According to newly released data from the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer the world has witnessed “an alarming evaporation of trust across all institutions, reaching the lows of the Great Recession in 2009. Trust in government, business, media and NGOs in the general population is below 50 percent in two-thirds of countries, including the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan. Informed public respondents are nearly as distrustful, registering trust levels below 50 percent in half of the countries surveyed.”

“There has been a startling decrease in trust across all institutions driven by the unpredictable and unimaginable events of 2014,” said Richard Edelman, president and CEO, Edelman

Many global experts claim that “trust” is the issue of the decade and they may be right. Our society continues to be plagued by breaches of trust in business, government, academia, medicine, sports and the media, to name just a few.  But behind every trust violation is an individual or a team that has allowed it to occur. There is no doubt that low trust comes with hard costs to society and its citizens.



Is There a Silver Lining? Yes indeed. Many thought leaders are placing trust on their daily docket and teaching others through their actions and words.  On January 26 via TRUST! Magazine winter issue, Trust Across America – Trust Around the World will be releasing its 5th annual Top Thought Leaders in Trust, recognizing approximately 100 global trust researchers, consultants, writers and/or business leaders. Today we announce 15 honorees that have been continuously recognized by our program for their thought leadership over the past five years, and are receiving our Lifetime Achievement Award.


Please join us in congratulating the following outstanding individuals:

Patricia Aburdene

Hank Boerner

Stephen M.R. Covey

Jed Emerson

Leslie Gaines Ross

Robert Galford

Mary Gentile

Bill George

Charles H. Green

Jim Kouzes

Linda Locke

Edward Marshall

Jeffrey Seglin

Frank Sonnenberg

Robert Whipple

Well done ladies and gentlemen!

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.

Our 2015 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.

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.

In this post, Frank Sonnenberg discusses the disconnect between trust’s perceived value and the priority it is (or is not) given.

People like talking about trust. Parents expect it, recruiters require it, and leaders demand it. In fact, whenever trust is mentioned, everyone smiles and nods their head. That’s because trust is like motherhood and apple pie.

Yet, there seems to be a disconnect between the perceived value of trust and the priority that it receives. Some folks view trust as nothing more than a motivational speech, a clever slogan, or a fancy book collecting dust on a shelf.

Why doesn’t trust receive the priority that it rightly deserves? In some cases, people are short-term thinkers. They’ll do anything to get what they want and aren’t willing to make the long-term commitment.  Others conclude that it’s hard to measure the impact that our words and actions have on trust –– so why pay the price? Let’s look at what happens in the absence of trust.


Distrust Commands a Heavy Price

In the relationships between people and groups, a lack of trust:

Creates a distraction. Distrust causes people to lose sight of what’s important and become sidetracked by trivial matters.

Damages relationships. Distrust promotes disharmony and uncertainty. It causes people to scrutinize what others say and second-guess their intent.

Destroys communication. Distrust fosters dishonesty and lack of transparency. People spend more effort reading between the lines than listening to what’s being said.

Damages teamwork. Distrust creates dissension. It pits people against one another. You can expect finger pointing, the blame game, and witch hunts to thrive where there is distrust.

Reduces competitiveness. When there’s distrust, people spend more time answering to the “paperwork police” than doing their job. This increases costs, but rarely adds value to the product or the customer experience. 

Encourages game playing. Distrust encourages people to spend more time trying to beat the system rather than trying to do something meaningful.

Destroys individual initiative. Distrust encourages people to look busy rather than to actually be productive.

Creates a toxic environment. Distrust creates an atmosphere that can be cut with a knife. In these environments, people opt for the political solution rather than for doing what’s right.

Hurts loyalty and morale. Distrust is anxiety provoking and debilitating. Good people would rather leave an organization for greener pastures than spend their days covering their behind.

It’s time to put your money where your mouth is. 


The Magic of Trust

What if I told you that mistrust could kill our individual aspirations, cripple our personal and business relationships, strip the muscle from our most powerful leaders, and crush the productivity and morale of our best and brightest people? Would I have your attention? Then why don’t we give trust the attention it deserves?

You may not think that paying lip service to trust bears a cost, but it commands a very handsome price. If you care about your credibility and reputation, desire the respect of friends and family, or want to be taken seriously in life … trust matters. Trust is more than a platitude; it defines you as a person. There is a tendency to believe that if something cannot be seen or heard, it does not exist. It brings to mind the question: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Trust, as with other soft issues, is like the tree that falls in a forest. If we don’t believe that trust makes a sound, maybe it’s time to get our hearing checked.


Frank Sonnenberg is an award-winning author. He has written five books and over 300 articles. Frank was recently named one of  100 “Global Thought Leaders” and nominated as one of “America’s Most Influential Small Business Experts.” Frank has served on several boards and has consulted to some of the largest and most respected companies in the world. Additionally, FrankSonnenbergOnline was named among the “Best 21st Century Leadership Blogs.” Frank’s new book, Follow Your Conscience is available November 2014.

© 2014 Frank Sonnenberg. All rights reserved.

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.

Copyright 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

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News Release

For Immediate Release

For Additional Information contact:

Barbara Kimmel

Executive Director

Trust Across America



Trust in Business Essential for 2013:

Global Experts Join Forces to Combat Trust Crisis


Chester, N.J.  January 3, 2013—After a well-documented 10+ years of declining trust in government, business and the media, Trust Across America (TAA) ( and its ambassadors are launching the Campaign for Trust™, a two-year initiative to reverse this cycle.  “As the leaders in information, standards, data and the Who’s Who of trustworthy business, this is the next step in our initiative that began in 2009,” said Barbara Brooks Kimmel, a Co-founder and the Executive Director.

In the fourth quarter of 2012 TAA created The Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts (ATBE) to collaborate in advancing the cause of trustworthy business through the creation of trust tools and communications outreach. Over 100 global thought leaders from Fortune 500 companies; leading academic institutions; global media and consulting have joined since the mid-October launch.

Much of the work of the alliance will be via strategic partnerships with our Founding Members listed alphabetically: Patricia Aburdene (Co-author of Megatrends 2000); William Benner (WW Consulting); Randy Conley (The Ken Blanchard Companies); Stephen M.R. Covey (Franklin Covey-Speed of Trust); Linda Fisher Thornton (Leading in Context); Bahar Gidwani (CSRHub); Charles Green (Trusted Advisor Associates); Nadine Hack (beCause Global Consulting); Michael Hopkins (MHC International); Gary Judd (Franklin Covey-Speed of Trust); Barbara Kimmel (Trust Across America); Jim Kouzes (The Leadership Challenge); Deb Krizmanich (Powernoodle); Mike Krzus (Co-author of One Report); Greg Link (Franklin Covey-Speed of Trust); Linda Locke (Reputare Consulting); Edward Marshall (Author Building Trust at the Speed of Change); Jon Mertz (Thin Difference); Deb Mills-Scofield (Innovanomics™); Robert Vanourek (Triple Crown Leadership); and Bob Whipple (Leadergrow Inc.).

According to Kimmel, “We will be assembling a Trust Toolbox™ in 2013 to assist businesses in building trust with their stakeholders. Collaborative projects in development include the publication of a book- Trust Inc.: Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset, a collection of short essays from our global thought leaders; the Trust Directory™ designed for companies who seek advice and counsel; the creation of trust assessments; the development of a Trust Index™; educational Trust Talks™; a monthly publication called the Trust Sheet ™, announcing trust alliance member news from around the world; and the opening of our online Trust Store™, a virtual one-stop shop for trust products.”

Kicking off the campaign will be the January 14 announcement of Trust Across America’s 3rd annual Top Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business. Our 2013 recognition list will honor the late Dr. Stephen R. Covey, whose professional accomplishments in the field of trust were instrumental to the founding of the Trust Across America initiative four years ago.

According to Amy Lyman co-founder of Great Place to Work Institute and author of The Trustworthy Leader, “The evidence is irrefutable. Cultures of trust, created by leaders who are credible, respectful and fair bring with them significant economic, social, community and environmental benefits. It is what every employee wants and what every business leader should strive for.” Trust Across America, through its new trust alliance, hopes to develop the requisite tools to enhance cultures of trust, and encourages those interested in furthering the cause of trustworthy business to join the alliance.



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