Posts Tagged ‘Robert Whipple’


Bob, thank you for participating in our 2020 Trust Insights series. What is your trust insight?

“The absence of fear is the incubator of trust.”

Bob Whipple, Leadergrow Inc.





Can you expand a bit on this important insight?

When leaders know how to build, maintain, and repair trust, a remarkable culture will kindle where problems are reduced and productivity is maximized. The secret is for leaders to learn the art of “reinforcing Candor,” which is another way of saying they make people glad when they bring up issues that may be contrary to what the leader’s preconceived ideas were.

Most leaders cannot do this because they believe they are right in their judgment, so a contrary view by an employee causes the leader to punish the employee. That destroys trust and causes other employees to refrain from sharing their concerns.

The result is a culture of fear where trust cannot kindle.


Can you provide a real life example of a trust “challenge” where your insight has been effectively applied.

I worked with one group where the top leaders (8 people) truly hated each other. It was the worst culture I have ever seen. I had the group do a SWOT analysis and they listed “Trust” as the number one weakness for the entire organization.  I worked with them for a few interfaces, and taught them my theories about how their behaviors could be modified to build rather than destroy trust. Six months later that same management team rated “Trust” as the number one strength for the entire organization. They were a completely different group.


Bob, generally, do you think the global “trust” climate is improving or worsening? What actions are making it better or worse?

I believe the global climate is separating. Most areas are actually losing the battle for high trust, but some of them are doing extremely well. The difference lies in the behaviors of the most senior leaders.


Many claim we have a crisis of trust. Do you agree?

I think there is a crisis in several areas, but at the same time there are pockets of excellence that are heartening.


Bob, how has your membership in our Trust Alliance benefitted you professionally?

Being part of the network is a wonderful advantage because we constantly share ideas and techniques.  Having a society dedicated to this one issue is very powerful, and I am honored to be a part of the group.


Bob, thank you so much for your time and more importantly for your commitment to elevating organizational trust. What would you like our audience to know about you?

Robert Whipple is CEO of Leadergrow Inc., an organization dedicated to development of leaders. He has authored five books and spoken on leadership topics and the development of trust in numerous venues internationally. His ability to communicate pragmatic approaches to building trust in an entertaining and motivational format has won him top ranking wherever he speaks. Audiences relate to his material enthusiastically because it is simple, yet profound. His work has earned him the popular title of “The TRUST Ambassador”


And while you are here, Tap Into Trust and complete our 1 minute/1 question quiz. Find out how the level of trust in your workplace compares to hundreds of others.

Did you miss our previous 2020 insights? Access them at this link.


Contact us for more information on elevating trust on your team or in your organization or email me directly: 

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

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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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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.

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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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 read our blog of July 19 for Secrets of Trustworthy Leadership
  4. Building Trustworthy Teams (today’s blog post)
  5. Restoring Trust
  6. The Future of Trust

Over a six day period, our blog will extract highlights from these chapters. Each strategy 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 5 strategies for Building Trustworthy Teams.

William Benner explains how to “Practice Trustworthy Behaviors”

There are many internal and external factors that can affect the ability of individuals and team members to trust one another and accomplish personal goals and team objectives. (These are just a few taken from a longer list.)

  • Highly competitive, rapidly changing and uncertain business environment
  • Inability and/or unwillingness to address performance issues as a team
  • Poor communication skills and inability to listen for understanding
  • Lack of clarity about the team’s shared mission and direction
  • Lack of confidence in the team leader and/or team members


Mary Gentile describes how to “Build the Trust Muscle: In Our Companies, In our Teams, In Ourselves”

No one publicly debates the necessity for trust in business transactions, to allow for efficient arms-length business transactions and to reduce the cost of regulatory compliance, monitoring and penalties. However, actual behaviors are often slow to change. Too often, when scandals hit or when bubbles burst, we rush to the bully pulpit, proclaiming the necessity to clean up our acts; to place transparency and integrity at the heart of our business dealings; to treat employees and consumers with the respect that comes from honest communication and practices that are consistent with the business mission and values statements. 


Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner remind us that “You Can’t Take Trust for Granted”

Every single relationship is built on trust. It’s foundational. It’s fundamental. And foundations and fundamentals need constant attention. Building trust is a process that begins when someone is willing to risk being the first to open up, being the first to show vulnerability, and being the first to let go of control––and then reciprocating these actions.  And in the leader-constituent relationship, leaders go first. If you want the high levels of performance that come with trust and collaboration, you have to be the first to demonstrate your trust in others before asking them to trust you.


Hear what Brian Moriarty has to say in “Creating Thriving Organizations- The Bedrock of Trust and Reputation”

Purpose-driven organizations have an important advantage because they are able to tap into the intrinsic motivation of their people. Intrinsic motivation refers to activities or work that people find rewarding in and of itself: for example, a pharmaceutical researcher who is driven by a desire to alleviate suffering caused by a particular disease. When work is intrinsically motivating, performance and creativity thrive. When employees have a voice in the mission of the organization, purpose becomes part of a living conversation with people asking, “What is the unique value that this organization provides for the world?” Companies need employees to be asking this question repeatedly.


And finally, Robert Whipple reminds us that “Reinforcing Candor Builds Trust and Transparency”

A simple three-part model of how leader behaviors can help build higher trust includes three categories of behaviors.

1. Table Stakes

These are the basic building blocks of ethics and integrity that must be present for any level of trust to kindle. The term Table Stakes comes from the phenomenon in poker where individuals must ante up even to play in the game. Traits like honesty, openness, communication, consistency, and ethics simply must be present, or the leader may as well take off his suit and hit the showers. 

2. Enabling Actions

These are the components that further help build trust once the Table Stakes are present. There are thousands of items we could name in this category. Here are some examples: following up, advocacy, fairness, admitting mistakes, and many others. The more these elements are present, the greater the ability for the leader to withstand trust withdrawals.

3. The Heart of Trust – Reinforcing Candor  

Reinforcing candor is the ability to make people glad they brought up an observation of a leader’s inconsistency. In most organizations, people are punished in some way for bringing forward a leadership problem. Where the highest levels of trust and transparency are present, the leader has the ability to set aside his ego and reinforce those who challenge an action.


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 Restoring Trust. 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

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.


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How does one say “Thank you” to friends and colleagues who have helped foster trustworthy relationships?

We hope you enjoy our 2014 Weekly Reflections on Organizational Trust, another collaborative effort of the contributors to our new book  Trust Inc., our Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts, and friends of Trust Across America – Trust Around the World. (Listed alphabetically)

If you are receiving this gift, we know that trust is important to you, and we hope you will share it with your audience.

Thank you to all who have assisted Trust Across America – Trust Around the World in building organizational trust.

May we continue to make progress in 2014.

With much gratitude and trust!

Barbara Brooks Kimmel

PS- This poster prints 11×14.




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Barbara Kimmel: Bob, tell us a bit about your background, qualifications and expertise. If you have  written a book, please provide the title.

Bob Whipple: I have been in the leadership and trust business for about 40 years. Working as a senior leader in a major corporation, I found that trust is the most significant enabler of exceptional performance. To build trust, you must have exceptional leaders.

I have three books published, and a fourth one under construction. They are:

The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, 2003, Productivity Publications

Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, 2006, Productivity Publications

Leading With Trust is Like Sailing Downwind, 2009, Executive Excellence Publishing 

Building Trust and Unity During a Merger or Acquisition, 2014

I have written over 300 published articles on trust, leadership, and other topics on personal excellence in numerous journals and in the online environment. “Leadership Excellence Magazine” has named me as the #14 top rated consultant on Leadership Development, and Trust Across America has identified me as one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior. 

Barbara Kimmel: Trust Across America’s mission is to rebuild trustworthy business behavior across the globe.  How would you generally define trustworthy business behavior? 

Bob Whipple: I think it’s pretty simple. Trustworthy business behavior means doing the right things at all times, especially when nobody would know if you did something else.

Barbara Kimmel: In your opinion, what are some of the specific components of trustworthy business behavior?

Bob Whipple: Personally, I think the acronym for TRUST below is a good place to start. There are literally hundreds of components that embody trust, but if a leader can consistently apply these five components, he or she is going to do well at enabling trust.

1. Trusting Others – To receive more trust, show more trust.
2. Reinforcing Candor – Praise people for speaking their truth – drive out fear.
3. Universal goals – High trust requires alignment: all pull in the same direction.
4. Sincerity – Treat people the right way: Golden Rule is a good one.
5. Transparency – Share all the information you can legally share.

Barbara Kimmel: We all know that the erosion of corporate trust is a big problem. What are companies doing to combat this, and is it enough?

It is situational. Some organizations continue to shoot themselves in the foot on trust just about every day. Their leaders believe they are heading in the right direction, but they are quite blind to the damage they are doing.  It stems from a lack of Emotional Intelligence.

Fortunately, I am seeing more and more CEOs who are starting to realize what they leave off the table when there is low trust. These enlightened leaders are willing to at least consider the notion that they are a part of the problem when there is low trust. The ones that really “get it” are seeing dramatic productivity gains.

As the word spreads, some of the jerks are starting to wonder if there might really be something to this trust stuff.  That is encouraging, but there are still way too many losers out there. Turning a non-believer into a true enlightened advocate for higher trust is one of the true joys in my life.

Barbara Kimmel: Is the global “trust” climate improving or worsening? What actions will turn things around?

Bob Whipple: I believe the pendulum is heading in a good direction over the past few years. There are still a lot of snakes in the grass, but I believe the worst times of abuse may be behind us.

As the Edelman Trust Barometer shows, the level of trust fluctuates country-by-country depending on what has happened in the prior year. In general, trust in the USA is lagging many other countries. That is why the work of Trust Across America and the individual contributors to the trust movement is so critical for our collective future.

Barbara Kimmel: Can you provide a few examples of companies that are doing the “right” thing in your opinion? What steps are being taken by these companies that set them apart?

Bob Whipple: There are four outstanding companies in my hometown of Rochester, NY who are leading the way with trust. They score well on the top companies to work for in America every year. They are Wegmans (grocery chain), Dixon Schwabl (marketing and advertising firm), Eastman Savings and Loan (Federal Credit Union), and Klein Steel.

All four of these organizations invest heavily in their culture, and it shows in the results they are getting. In each case it is the result of enlightened and passionate leaders that is causing this remarkable track record.

Barbara Kimmel: Anything else you would like to add as a closing comment?

Bob Whipple: I am highly supportive of the work of the Trust Across America Organization and am a proud founding member of the Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts (ATBE). Our work is critically important, and we are making a difference. The next two years are going to show wonderful progress on trust in business across the globe.

Barbara Kimmel: Bob, thank you for your time today and all you do to advance the cause of trustworthy business.

What do you think? Send your comments to

Barbara Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America, global leaders in information, standards, data and Who’s Who in trustworthy business.


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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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