Archive

Posts Tagged ‘trust’

Aug
04

Having studied and observed trust building and trust busting behavior for over ten years, what’s crystal clear is that when people trust you, their confidence in you will increase, and they will be more inclined to do business with you.

 

 

LinkedIn claims to have more than 700 million users in 200 countries, and the platform can be a very powerful business tool, IF your goal is to build trust with your connections. The following are ten tips on how to do this.

  1. Begin with a clearly defined “ethics based” LinkedIn strategy, with the focus being your connections not you.
  2. Communicate authentically. Your values, beliefs and principles must align with your actions.
  3. Become the “go to” person in your area of expertise by publishing well-written original thought leadership pieces rather than announcing your next podcast or speaking engagement.
  4. Every post should represent added value to your readers or be solutions based.
  5. Share relevant, high quality content, even if it is from a competitor. Shine a spotlight on valuable material, regardless of who wrote it.
  6. Remain humble. Don’t tell your audience how “honored” or “humbled” you are while promoting your upcoming gig or your most recent award. That’s just insincere self-interest.
  7. Before publishing your next post answer this question: “Who cares (other than you and your mother)?”
  8. Engage your audience by asking them for input and feedback, and be sure to acknowledge every response.
  9. In this age of rapidly evolving social “activism” pick your photo captions carefully. For example, does your photo show a room full of men with no female presence? Does it just show you?
  10. You are the company you keep. Make sure the posts you are “liking” reflect positively on your values. (And instead of simply “liking” a post, leave a thoughtful comment.)

And now for a few surefire ways to bust trust really fast…

  1. Connecting with the sole purpose of selling something to your “prospect”
  2. Pretending in your initial connection request that you have something (undefined) in common.
  3. Immediately upon connecting, filling the recipient’s inbox with all sorts of “stuff” about how great you are.
  4. Having a profile that screams “amateur”: Words and phrases like guru, influencer, disruptor, rebel, world-renowned, life coach, Lion, Forbes and Inc. contributor… and best-selling author.
  5. Same goes for credentials- fake PhD’s and questionable experience are easy to spot and even easier to verify.
  6. Being a bragger about your latest upcoming “gig” and then having all your friends say “Congrats!”
  7. Ignoring comments, or better yet, deleting them if you disagree or think they might take the attention away from you.
  8. Trolling LinkedIn and inciting controversy.
  9. Showing zero interest in getting to know your new connections, even when they message you.
  10. Adding your LI connections to your mailing list without permission.

Having been an active LinkedIn member for many years, the balance is shifting away from thought leadership towards billboard advertising. If this is accurate, LinkedIn will surely (and quickly) lose its stature as a valuable business tool. In fact, I’ve spent the past several months deleting hundreds of self-promoting LinkedIn connections.

In summary, if the focus is simply “You,” maybe it’s time to rethink your LinkedIn strategy. Start by making “trust building” your core focus.

What other suggestions do you have for building trust on LinkedIn? Leave your comments.

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.

Copyright 2020 Next Decade, Inc.

PS- Don’t forget to TAP into Trust!

For more information contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

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May
05


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

“Trust is not a message; it’s an outcome – and trust may not even be the real issue.” Robert Phillips

 

 

 

Can you expand a bit on this timely insight?

For way too long, “trust” has been hijacked by communications consultancies and strategy firms, who see/ position the trust “issue” and how to address it as a function of what the organisations says, rather than what it does. They sell strategies and programmes accordingly.  Together with reliance on some dodgy data, this leads to a bogus and corrosive narrative around trust: often creating a false sense of (global) crisis. This masks more profound issues and challenges and many cultural and political nuances.

Organisations would do better by focusing on their own behaviours and on the real issues (including the climate emergency and tech disruption) that lead to better outcomes for employees, customers and stakeholders. Furthermore, trustworthiness is a more relevant construct than “trust”. Trustworthiness is a function of Honesty + Competence + Reliability + Good. It is undermined by self-interest, especially where such self-interest is not transparently declared.

 

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

The Global Responsible Tax Project curated by Jericho Chambers for KPMG, has been running since 2014. Based on organising principles of activism, participation, accountability and dissent, it now hosts a community of 1700 experts, built peer-to-peer, from the Global North to Global South and across the political spectrum – including corporate leaders; advisors; politicians and policy-makers; activists, NGOs and campaigners; academics and experts; media and the commentariart. This global coalition has worked together to develop new policy ideas and recommendations – leading to more trust between all parties and better policy outcomes for the common good. It’s starting point was that any solution to global tax problems were better served by addressing the purpose of tax, than communications and lobbying around the issues, and that no-one has all the answers. Tax is trust, write large – as this article brings to life.

 

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

IpsosMORI long-term veracity data would suggest that trust remains in a chronic condition. The so-called “crisis of trust” masks a more profound crisis of leadership – in business and in politics. A failure to address the leadership issue will only prolong and never resolve the current condition.

 

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

No, although a recognition of the chronic condition (see above) is important, as is a determination to do something about it.

 

Robert, 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 has been at the forefront of the UK Public Relations industry for three decades. His expert area is the relationship between communications, leadership and trust. 

Robert’s 2015 book Trust Me, PR is Dead was heralded by Management Today as “a game-changer for the future of communications”. His often-outspoken views have been described as “essential for anyone who wants to influence and persuade in the mid-21st century”. Since 2014, Robert has helped build coalitions across business, government and civil society on subjects ranging from Responsible Tax to the Future of Work; Adult Social Care to the Future of Transport; Infrastructure and Housing to the Built Environment. Robert advocates new operating principles based on activism, accountability, co-production and dissent.

Robert is Founder of Jericho Chambers and Visiting Professor at Cass Business School, City, University of London. He was formerly CEO, Europe, Middle East & Africa for Edelman – the world’s largest Public Relations firm – and Global Chair of its Future Strategies & Public Engagement Group. He co-founded JCPR in 1987 – described by PR Week as “the seminal consumer brands consultancy of the Nineties and Noughties” – which he sold to Edelman in 2004. Two of Robert’s campaigns, for Wonderbra and PlayStation, were included in the Top 20 PR Campaigns of All Time.

 

Before you leave, 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. 

Have you reviewed how our workshops are helping teams and organizations just like yours elevate trust? Schedule an ONLINE webinar today.

Did you miss our previous 2020 Trust 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: barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

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Apr
14

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

Trust doesn’t “just happen.” Randy Conley

 

 

 

 

Can you expand a bit on this important insight?

I’ve found that people think trust just sort-of evolves naturally over time, as if through some relationship osmosis. The thinking goes that the longer you know and interact with someone, the more you grow to trust them. That leaves the development of trust to happenstance, and for most people, they don’t think about trust in a relationship until it’s been broken.

A better way is to approach building trust with purpose and intention, and to realize that it’s a skill that can be developed. Trust is based on perceptions, and those perceptions are formed by the behaviors we use. If we behave in trustworthy ways, we’ll build trust with others. If we use behaviors that erode trust with others, then we won’t be trusted. It’s pretty straight-forward in that regard. If trust is based on perceptions, the challenge becomes whose perception is the correct one? That’s why it’s important to have a common definition of trust. Since trust can be so subjective, having a common understanding of what trust is and isn’t, allows organizational team members to be on the same page regarding how they can build trust in their relationships.

 

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

I worked with the CEO of a mid-western steel manufacturer and his leadership team to define what trust means for their organization. Trust was one of their core values, but they didn’t have a common language or understanding about what that looked like in practice. They adopted our ABCD framework as their definition of trust, which allowed them to communicate to all employees that when they talk about trust, they are referring to team members demonstrating they are Able, Believeable, Connected, and Dependable, and knowing the behaviors that support each of those four elements.

 

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

In a general sense, the climate of trust seems to be worsening. Society is becoming more polarized over political issues and the pace of change driven by technology is making it difficult for people to adapt. The seeds of distrust are planted when people begin to experience doubt about the intentions of others, which grows into an active suspicion, anxiety, fear, and ultimately self-protection. When people get to a state of self-protection, they are unwilling to take the risk of extending trust.

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

Generally we do have a crisis of trust, but more specifically, we have a crisis of untrustworthy leaders. At its most fundamental level, trust is an interpersonal dynamic, and organizational leaders need to take more responsibility, and hold themselves to a higher level of accountability, to build and maintain trust with their stakeholders.

 

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

My involvement in the Trust Alliance has benefited me by learning from other experts in the field. Their wisdom has sharpened my thinking about trust and encouraged me to consider viewpoints I may not have considered had I not been part of this community. I, and hopefully other members, have mutually benefited from the support and encouragement we offer each other.

 

Randy, 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?

Randy Conley is Vice President & Trust Practice Leader for The Ken Blanchard Companies. He is Blanchard’s subject matter expert in the field of trust, co-author of Blanchard’s Building Trust training program, and works with organizations around the globe helping them build trust in the workplace. Trust Across America has recognized Randy with a Lifetime Achievement Award as a Top Thought Leader in Trust and he is a founding member of the Trust Alliance. Inc.com named Randy a Top 100 Leadership Speaker & Thinker and American Management Association included him in their Leaders to Watch in 2015 list. He holds a Masters Degree in Executive Leadership from the University of San Diego.

 

Before you leave, 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. 

Have you reviewed how our workshops are helping teams and organizations just like yours elevate trust? Schedule an ONLINE webinar today.

Did you miss our previous 2020 Trust 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: barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

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Mar
24

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

“Developing trust starts with building a culture that values trust. Sean Flaherty

 

 

 

Can you expand a bit on this important insight?

A culture of trust needs to be purposefully created. It always starts with the words that the organization’s leaders use, the stories that they tell and the actions that they take. Those words, stories and actions need to be consistent and in alignment. 
Trust is not something that can be promoted from the top down. It needs to be defined, measured and lived – exemplified by the top and measured and discussed all the way down to where your products and services meet your customers every day.
With a clear and shared definition of the word trust and agreement on how we earn it that starts at the top, it will spread throughout the organization.

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

I have seen many organizations boost trust with subtle changes to how they are already doing business. A simple and powerful tactic that I have seen create a sustainable and scalable impact to trust: 
The Minimum Valuable Commitment”
Every time you make a promise and you keep a promise, is an opportunity to boost trust. Commitment is rare and it accelerates trust.
People tend to avoid making commitments because they are risky. We are wired to avoid unnecessary risk. But when you make commitments and keep them, even small promises, it builds trust faster. Being purposeful about the promises and commitments that you make to your customers can transform your business. Building commitment into your culture and empowering your people to make measured and valuable commitments can have a big impact on how you earn trust. Companies often make contractual guarantees and issue warranties because they know how important commitments are, but the small promises can be just as important in helping your people and your firm earn trust from your customers.
Intent is critical here. Your Say/Do ratio has to be really high. In addition, by making commitments, you have to recognize that occasionally, you will miscalculate and you will fail to keep a commitment. This is a good thing — as long as you clean up the mess. It means that you are committed and doing your best. It is difficult to trust wishy-washiness and apathetic commitments. We trust more powerfully when commitments are made with the positive intent to fulfill them.

Here is a basic thought experiment to explain how this works:
At some point in the history, most of us have visited a website that added value to the problem that we were trying to solve, and we decided to sign up for the newsletter when they requested our email address. Now, imagine experiencing these two different scenarios:
Scenario A: Give us your email address and we will send you our newsletter. You enter your email address. They pop-up a message that says thank you.
Nothing out of the ordinary here. Your expectations are met. It’s not memorable. Maybe you will get a newsletter and maybe you will read it. Maybe not.
Scenario B: Give us your email address and we promise to send you the latest and greatest content in <this ecosystem that you care about> on the second business Monday of each month. You enter your email address. They pop-up the last newsletter that they sent (and send it to your inbox immediately) with a message at the top that says: “We promised we would send you the latest and greatest content. Here is what you can look forward to.”
Note how that second scenario made you feel.

The simple act of making a promise and keeping it can powerfully impact trust. Here is a simple checklist for your commitments that will make sure they are worthwhile:
[ ] Use the language of commitment. Saying “We promise to X” or “We commit to Y.” Using this language maximizes the emotional impact because these words have a powerful, shared meaning for people.
[ ] Make sure the commitment is as specific and complete as possible. Without a specific action and a specific timeframe that includes a day and a time, it is meaningless. There is a reason it is called a “dead-line.”
[ ] Verify that the commitment is valuable to your customer. Test it on live customers to see if you are able to improve your ability to earn trust. Your promises must be authentic, and may be more powerful if your customer is not expecting them from you. Be careful that your language does not work against you by sounding like it is scripted.
[ ] Honor the commitment. If you make promises that you do not have the ability to keep, you are much better off not making the commitment in the first place. Make sure you fully intend to keep the promise or are fully willing to make things right if you cannot.
[ ] Use the language of commitment when fulfilling your promise. For example: “We promised X; here we are keeping our promise.”

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

I am an incorrigible optimist. I see the world through rose-colored glasses. We are making huge progress in the sciences of psychology, sociology and human motivation. The work of people like Brene Brown, Ed Deci, Richard Ryan, Daniel Goleman and many, many others is showing us, unequivocally, how important human relationships are to our collective future. While our political climate appears to be extremely polarized of late, I believe that this tide will ebb and we will eventually realize that we are in this together. The technology boom is helping to make the world a more transparent place and improving opportunities for more systemic trust building. Like all innovations, I believe that we are inside of a bubble where these technologies are being used in a negative manner. But history has shown us that we will be able to turn this around and the collective will win in the end.

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

This is an eternal struggle. We will never be done learning how to improve trust. When you look objectively at the world today – it is exponentially better by almost every measure than it was even a decade ago.  If you were to microscopically look at any given problem in the world, it would be easy to say that we have a crisis of trust. But if you were to look at the macro, it would be hard to argue that we are not on a good path.
There is a lot of work to do in all aspects of our society, but I don’t think it helps to promote negativity. I think that is inauthentic and reduces trust.

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

I am a new member, but I am passionate about trust and committed to doing my part. I cant wait to have a better story to tell in a year.

 

Sean, 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?

Sean Flaherty is a partner at ITX Corp. based in Rochester, NY where he oversees business development, partnerships and the innovation practice. ITX is a software product innovation firm with over 250 employees in 7 countries. Sean started building software products at 11 years old on his 8-Bit Commodore Vic-20 and he has never stopped. He studied aviation electronics working on F-14 Tomcats in the Navy, molecular genetics at the University of Rochester, and earned an MBA from the Simon School of Business. ITX has built a passionate team of technologists and artists that inspires him every day with the magic that they produce for their clients. Sean runs Innovation Workshops for his clients and speaks regularly on turning the intangibles in business, like trust, loyalty and advocacy into measurable results.

 

Before you leave, 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. 

Have you reviewed how our workshops are helping teams and organizations just like yours elevate trust? Schedule an ONLINE webinar today.

Did you miss our previous 2020 Trust 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: barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

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Mar
17

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

“It’s easier to trust someone and for others to trust you if there is genuine care – and that shows in how you listen, and how you act and behave towards others.” Lea Brovedani

 

 

 

Can you expand a bit on this important insight?

Most organizations will list trust as an important value but to be believed it has to be lived.  What is the track record for doing what they say they will do? In an organization can you draw a direct line between their vision and mission statement and their actions? On a personal level do you believe they are authentic? Caring goes beyond compliance to the rules and speaks to the heart.

I’ve interviewed leaders, middle managers and workers in the field and I hear the same thing from all of them. “If I don’t believe that the person I am dealing with genuinely cares about me, I can’t really trust them.”

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

An example of the affect of caring on trust… My client, Fred Barlow is the Chief Safety Officer for Reliance – a contractor in Colorado. The majority of his staff work on dangerous construction sites. When Fred took over the position he realized there wasn’t a lot of trust between the workers or between the workers and management. It took time to turn that around, and he did it by showing he cared about them as individuals. An example was in a safety class he was teaching. One of the attendees, a big macho construction worker, got a phone call in the middle of the class. When he came back, Fred could see that something was wrong. When he had the opportunity to have a conversation with him, he found out that his brother’s wife had just delivered a baby with severe health problems. Fred took the time to talk and comfort him and in doing so he went a long way in establishing a relationship of trust. This was not an isolated incident, but typical of how Fred chooses to work with his employees. The ripple affect is that the workers now listen to Fred because they know he has their best interests at heart.

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

Overall I believe the global trust climate is worsening.  Social media exacerbates divisions by feeding us information that supports our biases and validates our prejudices and connects us to people who share our beliefs. We can get a skewed view of the world that confirms whatever we believe, regardless of factual information that could change our mind.  We develop trust through the facts, relationships and experiences and many of the opportunities for connection are being thwarted. This isn’t isolated to the USA. Countries around the world are experiencing a division and distrust that is in a downward spiral.

Fortunately we are drawn toward the champions who give us reasons to trust, and those who can help us look for the areas where trust can grow. The “Mr. Rogers” of the world. We can find sites that provide a full spectrum of facts, opinions and beliefs and allow us to make informed decisions. It’s the duality of the internet that gives us truth and lies and so much information that we can end up unable to discern who we can trust.

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

There is a saying that goes “What we resist, persists”.  To me it means we put too much focus on what we don’t want such as fear and uncertainty. If we change our focus to finding and celebrating trust, then perhaps we can start moving people, societies and institutions towards a better future where trust can grow.

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

I believe that Trust Across America brings credibility to all of us who are involved with the organization. You have to adhere to a high standard of ethical behavior and it brings together like-minded individuals from around the world. When I want to find out the latest research I know I can find it within the TAA group. Part of my mission and vision in life is to increase trust within the world, and being involved with this organization gives me a greater platform to do that.

Lea, 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?

Lea Brovedani is a professional speaker and trainer who has spoken at conferences and presented her workshops on trust around the world. She is author of TRUST ME – Restore Belief & Confidence in an Uncertain World, and TRUSTED – Secret Lessons From and Inspired Leader.

Before you leave, 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. 

Have you reviewed how our workshops are helping teams and organizations just like yours elevate trust? Schedule an online webinar today.

Did you miss our previous 2020 Trust 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: barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

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Feb
18

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

Three trust questions are the best way to deal with the ethical dilemmas we face.”

Bob Vanourek, Triple Crown Leadership and former CEO

 

 

Can you expand a bit on this important insight?

Every one of us has will face ethical dilemmas. They can’t be avoided. They are the terrible moral quandaries thrust on us by bosses, people in authority, peers, or the unrelenting circumstances of life. The great philosophers have given us ethical frameworks to solve these grim choices. They range from Utilitarianism to Virtue Ethics, Kant’s Categorical Imperative, and more. Not surprisingly, most of us are clueless about how to use these principles.

Answering three trust questions can give us more practical solutions. When you face a difficult ethical choice, where all the alternatives seem terrible, ask these questions:

  1. Which course of action will build the most trust with those impacted?
  2. How can I best implement this course of action to build trust with those impacted?
  3. If some trust is broken because of this choice, how can I minimize that impact to help rebuild trust?

 

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

I came in as CEO to rescue a very troubled public company. The prior CEO and EVP had been indicted for bribery. Shareholder class action suits had been filed; SEC and IRS investigations were underway; the best employees and customers were panicked; and cash to meet payroll was running critically short. Unfortunately, massive layoffs were necessary. 

Realizing the crisis in the company was not due to the employees who would now face the repercussions, we decided to handle the cutbacks differently. People being laid off were not going to be immediately escorted to the door by security guards with boxes of their belongings in their hands because they could not be trusted. They would be treated respectfully with fair severance and references. With their agreement, they would stay in place for weeks to train others who would assume their duties. We would hold farewell gatherings for each to acknowledge their past work and to wish them well.

Right before the announcements to all employees, I met with a very capable, long-term, and popular senior executive, John, to inform him that his job was being eliminated. He understood, and I invited him, if he wished attend, to join the all-hands meeting starting then.

Naturally, there was shock among the employees as I announced the dire circumstances we were in and what we were forced to do to survive. I assured them that fair treatment for those being separated was involved. But I sensed the anger and skepticism in the audience.

Then, I saw John standing near the stage. As I looked him in the eyes, I intuitively felt I could trust him to do what was right. I told the employees that John was one of those being laid-off. I thanked him for his years of service. Then I invited him onto the stage to say a few words if he wished to do so. I heard an audible gasp from my officer corps. They must have been thinking, “What will John say after being told he was being laid-off?”

John stepped to the mic with tears in his eyes and his throat catching with emotion. He thanked his colleagues for their work together over the years, said he would be “just fine,” and encouraged the audience to “hold the course.” The company would survive these tough times, and he was proud to have worked there.

We survived, and with much hard work, we successfully rebuilt. I chose a course of action that, while risky, was one I felt would build trust, or at least help rebuild any trust that was broken.

 

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

The global trust climate is both worsening and improving.

In this age of instant communication with 24/7 cable news, social media posts, tweets, and cell phone videos, virtually no information remains confidential. Many of the old guard, who have been exploiting others and the world for decades, are being “outed.” Outrage is high. It often seems we are enmeshed in an age of lies, cover-ups, cronyism, and scandals with a trust crisis. For many, therefore, trust levels are low.

But at the same time,  there is a growing body of leaders who have had enough of the old ways. They are ethical, values-based, transparent, humble, and intent on  building organizations with great cultures where trust is paramount. These organizations will not make the “can-you-top-this-outrage-headlines,” but they are the vanguard of the new movement that is growing steadily. These organizations are the winners, who will be talent magnets for the best people. Their influence and exemplary examples will shine through as the role models for all to see. For them, thankfully, trust levels are high.

 

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

To paraphrase Dickens in “A Tale of Two Cities,” it is the best of times and the worst of times. Ultimately, trust will win over fear. Paradoxically, the trust crisis will create a trust transformation, elevating trust to be an organizational imperative.

 

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

TAA-TAW: Trust Across America—Trust Around the World has led me to connect with some wise and extraordinary colleagues. We have spoken, worked, created, and written together. It is a professional cadre of which I am proud to be a member.

 

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?

 

Bob Vanourek is the former CEO of five companies, a Lifetime Achievement Winner at TAA-TAW, and the author of “Triple Crown Leadership; Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations” and “Leadership Wisdom: Lessons from Poetry, Prose, and Curious Verse,” both international award winners.

 

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.

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Feb
11

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

Real leadership starts by building trust; without trust, you have no platform from which to build positive influence with others. Walt Rakowich

 

 

Can you expand a bit on this important insight?

The best leaders influence others to do great things. Trust isn’t the only factor involved in building that type of influence, but it is an essential factor – perhaps the most essential. You can achieve short-term successes and positive results without trust. But you can’t do great things for yourself or for others over the long haul unless you trust yourself, trust others, and earn the trust of those you lead. If trust is lacking, success will be fleeting. When you have genuine trust, on the other hand, people willingly follow you and collaborate with you on a shared purpose. Things like commitment, risk-taking, accountability, productivity, and excellence fall more naturally into place.

You earn that trust over time by opening a window into your soul and showing yourself to be someone worth following. I learned in the heat of battle while turning around a Fortune 500 company that three virtues are essential to earning trust – humility, honesty, and heart. Humility comes when we look inward at who we really are. Heart comes when we look outward and value people for who they are, not just what they can do. And honesty requires that our actions align with what we say and with our values. When people see those virtues in the actions of a leader, they know their trust is well-placed. Combine that with a purpose and a passion for serving others, and great things aren’t just likely, they are inevitable.

 

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

I was named CEO of Prologis in the middle of the Great Recession and when the company was on the brink of bankruptcy. As we began to rebuild, we knew there were problems involving trust. One of the first things we did as a leadership team was commit to owning our mistakes and to learning from them. We were open with our employees and our investors about those mistakes and the challenges we faced moving forward. But here’s what we didn’t do. We didn’t ask our employees or our investors to trust us. In fact, during a meeting in New York with more than a thousand investors and stakeholders, we outlined our mistakes and committed to some specific ways we planned to restore the company to health. Then we told them this: “Don’t trust us. Watch us.” Trust has to be earned, not assumed. We embraced that idea. If we couldn’t earn it, we didn’t deserve it. We made that very clear to each other, our employees, and our investors. I believe because we set that as a standard, we settled for nothing less and achieved it over time.

Walt, generally, do you think the global “trust” climate is improving or worsening? What actions are making it better or worse?
I don’t know if it’s getting better or worse, but one thing is for sure: It’s more important than ever. We live in a world of glass houses. Everything we do is seen by everybody. Because of that, it’s easier than ever for people to see things they don’t like and don’t trust in leaders. You can’t hide. And because people see more about us, they raise their level of expectations. With expectations rising and transparency now the norm, it’s even more essential for leaders to consistently demonstrate trustworthiness in all they do.

 

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

There are plenty of reasons to be discouraged about the condition of the world, but also plenty of reasons to have hope for the future. You can look at the environment of politics, sports, business, entertainment—whatever—and find examples of leaders who have abused trust and created cultures devoid of trust. Where was trust in the Volkswagen emissions scandal? Or pick any other scandal going back to the beginning of time. On the other hand, many emerging leaders have shown a great desire to work together and to make their work about something that’s bigger than themselves. The bad stuff draws the headlines and the Internet memes, but you don’t have to look far to find leaders who are transparent and honest and humble and who truly want to do the right things for people and society. I choose to trust that these are the leaders who will win the day.

 

Walt, 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?

Walt Rakowich is an author, speaker and the former CEO of Prologis, one of the top global real estate companies in the S&P 500. He was named CEO in 2008 during the economic downturn when the company was near bankruptcy. He implemented a change in culture through transparency, orchestrating a dramatic turnaround and restoring its position in the industry. Walt has a BS in accounting from Penn State and an MBA from Harvard Business School. In addition to speaking to audiences on a range of leadership topics, he serves on a number of corporate and philanthropic boards. He and his wife Sue have two children and reside in Colorado.

And before you leave, 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.

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Feb
04

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

“Trust” is what happens when a risk-taking trustor meets a virtuous trustee.” Charles H. Green, Trusted Advisor Associates

(The definition is surprisingly important, because it is rarely followed in practice.)

 

Can you expand a bit on this important insight?

Much talk about ’trust’ is abstract and not practically useful. Change in trust happens only when either someone becomes more willing to trust, or someone else becomes more trustworthy. 

We intuitively use personal trust as the paradigm – the strongest form of trust. We describe people as being trustworthy or not – a set of personal virtues, if you will. For example, using the Trust Equation, it breaks down into Credibility, Reliability, and Intimacy: all divided by Self-orientation. A trustworthy person exemplifies these virtues in all their interactions.

The trustor, by contrast, is the one who initiates the trust interaction. They, by definition are taking a risk, putting themselves willfully in the way of some kind of harm through the potentially untrustworthy behavior of the trustee. 

The business world is much enamored of ‘measuring’ things; but when it comes to trust, it is largely a fool’s errand. Measuring ’trust’ per se is elusive: most measurements are, and should be, actually metrics of the trustor’s propensity to risk, or of the trustees level of virtuousness. 

 

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

One headline from Edelman PR’s annual Trust Barometer is “trust in social media is down.” Substitute ‘brands,’ ‘banking,’ ‘politics,’ and a host of others, and you’ll find similar headlines. But what do such sentences actually mean? Take banking, for example:
  • Does such a headline mean that banking has become less trustworthy? 
  • Or does it mean that people have become less trusting of banks in general?
In the case of Wells Fargo, you can make a good case that the problem was specific to the firm – rampant cases of untrustworthy behavior. Wells Fargo showed itself to be unworthy of trust. 
But take the case of violent crime: it is down, verifiably, over two decades in the US. At the same time, just as verifiably, fear of violent crime is up. That is a problem of perception on the part of would-be trusters. 
If you are interested in improving trust, you must define the problem: does it lie in the trustworthiness of specific would-be trustees? Or does it lie in excessive risk-avoidance on the part of would-be trustors?
Focusing on ’trust’ itself masks the practical question: is it a problem of trusting, or of trustworthiness. 

 

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

There is plenty of data – some flawed, but some very good – that suggest we are in a period of declining trust. It is tempting to ascribe this to political polarization, tribalism, and nationalism. But I think there is a bigger threat. 
The larger problem is that we have come to de-emphasize the inherently personal nature of trust. The strongest form of trust is personal, not institutional. Yet much of the public dialogue is about institutional trust: and much of the discussion about how to improve trust is also about institutional or structural fixes to trust. 
Factors driving down the focus on personal trust include:
  • A deep-seated business preference for metrics and quantification, including on things that are frankly quite non-measurable
  • A fascination with ’scientific’ explanations of trust, including many neuroscientists and Big Data, which have the effect of downgrading traditional, and still valuable, other approaches to the subject 
  • The de-humanization that comes out of most participation in social media
  • The de-humanization that comes out of the very nature of ‘online’ social media participation as a substitute for direct human conduct

 

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

 

Yes. 

 

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

Invaluable direct contact with other fellow-travelers interested in the exploration of this very rich topic. 

 

Charlie, 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?

 

Charles H. Green is an author, speaker and world expert on trust-based relationships and sales in complex businesses. Founder and CEO of Trusted Advisor Associates, he is author of Trust-based Selling, and co-author of The Trusted Advisor and the Trusted Advisor Fieldbook.  He has worked with a wide range of industries and functions globally. Charles spent 20 years in management consulting. He majored in philosophy (Columbia), and has an MBA (Harvard).

A widely sought-after speaker, he has published articles in Harvard Business Review, Directorship Magazine, Management Consulting News, CPA Journal, American Lawyer, Investments and Wealth Monitor, and Commercial Lending Review.

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.

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Jan
21

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

Trust is always and only about what you DO;

nothing else counts. – Margaret Heffernan 

 

 

 

Can you expand a bit on this important insight?

As soon as the subject of trust comes up, everyone talks about words. But words do not ever build trust. It is what you do that counts. I think there are 4 aspects to trust :
Benevolence: People trust you if they believe you want the best for them. But how do they know that? By the generosity you manifest in the active ways you help, support, advise them and tell them the truth.
Integrity: Everyone watches not what you say but whether you actions are consistent with your words. Saying that you want what is best “for all Americans” as the Business Roundtable did recently, doesn’t mean a thing if you do not act on it. To my mind, the acid test in business is: have you been prepared to forego revenue to stand by your principles? By that test, most companies fail. Wells Fargo sold products to their customers that they didn’t need without telling them – that doesn’t show that they care about stakeholders. J&J heavily and actively over-sold opioids that caused their customers harm; that is not a sign of honoring stakeholders. Integrity has to be active or it is nothing. 
Competence: When you say you will do something, it means nothing if you don’t have the professional ability to do it. This is a nuts-and-bolts, real world aspect of trust people often overlook. You have to be able to deliver.
Consistency: Are your actions and choices visibly consistent with the values you talk about all the time? If your actions express different values from one day to the next, then clearly it is impossible to assume that one action implies a coherent set of values. Consistency can be rather dull but if you are unpredictable, then nobody can trust you to do the right thing each day.

 

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

In 2001, after the tech bubble burst, I realized that keeping my company afloat would cost my investors a huge amount of money. Since my investor was a publicly traded company, I did not see how that cost could be justified when there was no confidence that the company could ever become profitable or that the investment could be recouped. I argued with the board – and it was an argument – that the business should be shut down. Eventually I won.

 

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

I think the trust climate is getting worse for one very obvious reason. We used to believe – I used to imagine – that business was or could be a force for good in the world. But the overall lethargy and passivity in face of the climate change challenge has shown exactly the opposite: the business community has not only not served the world but endangered it and all who live in it. How can they be trusted to do the right thing when they’ve had the chance for 30 years and have done almost nothing? Either they aren’t competent or they don’t care.

 

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

If we don’t have a crisis of trust, we should – as leaders in every walk of life seem unreliable and unrepentant. We have leaders all over the world whom everyone knows to be liars and cheats – which implies that being trustworthy is now an option not a requirement. Today I think leaders need to recognize that their trustworthiness is being assessed by everyone daily. It’s hard to point to those who do well under scrutiny.

 

Margaret, 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?

Dr. Margaret Heffernan produced programs for the BBC for 13 years.  She then moved to the US where she spearheaded multimedia productions for Intuit, The Learning Company and Standard & Poors. The author of six books, her most recent, Uncharted: How to map the Future Together comes out in 2020. Her TED talks have been seen by over ten million people. Through Merryck & Co., she advises CEOs and senior executives of major global organizations. She sits on several private boards, is a frequent broadcaster and writes occasionally for the Financial Times.

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 below.

Trust Insights Week #1: Stephen M.R. Covey

Trust Insights Week #2: David Reiling

Contact us for more information on elevating trust on your team or in your organization.

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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Nov
13

My high school friends still like to tease me that I was one of the hardest “workers” in the class. So yesterday, when we reached our 75,000 milestone, I took a deep breath and begin thinking about the next milestone and how we might get there.

Getting this far….

Our Trust Alliance, comprised of some of the world’s leading trust scholars and practitioners) spent over a year (2017-18) studying (and debating) the question of how trust is built and busted in teams and organizations, until we were able to agree on a set of universal trust elevating principles which we call TAP (Trust Alliance Principles.)

TAP is available at no cost in 16 languages and yesterday we crossed a threshold of 75,000 global views. As someone said in a recent conference call, TAP is quickly becoming the universal gold standard for elevating trust in teams and organizations. How cool is that?
Translating trust “talk” into “action”
Using the TAP principles as a framework, a suite of proprietary survey tools called AIM Towards Trust have been created, and the surveys have been run successfully with great results in over a dozen teams and organizations in the past few months. Later this week we will be introducing this powerful tool to 700 attendees at a national conference.
I am thrilled with the progress we are making moving the needle beyond trust talk to trust action. In fact, there is no longer any justifiable excuse for ANY leader, team or organization to talk about trust, but not act on it.
As for the future, we will continue to chip away, and I will keep working hard.
Thank you for helping us reach this important milestone.
Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World.
For questions or comments, email her at barbara@trustacrossamerica.com or visit the website.

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