Archive

Posts Tagged ‘trust across america’

May
26

Leadership ultimately comes down to creating conditions of trust within an organization.

Colin Powell

 

 

 

In honor of Memorial Day, this week’s Trust Insight comes courtesy of Colin Powell. During this brief and concise video, Powell discusses the role trust plays in leadership:

Powell’s timeless “rules” of leadership were first printed in the August 13, 1989 issue of Parade magazine and are reproduced below.

13 Rules of Leadership

  1. It ain’t as bad as you think.
  2. Get mad, then get over it.
  3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
  4. It can be done.
  5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
  6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
  7. You can’t make someone else’s choices.
  8. Check small things.
  9. Share credit.
  10. Remain calm. Be kind.
  11. Have a vision.
  12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
  13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

 

Please stop by our website for additional organizational trust resources, or schedule a call to learn how we can help elevate trust in your leadership team and among employees in your organization.

Did you know that over 137,000 global professionals have Tapped into Trust? Have you?

 

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

, , , , , ,

May
19

If you don’t own trust, don’t expect others to own it either. Barbara Brooks Kimmel

 

 

 

 

I was recently asked to lend a bit of trust subject matter expertise at a webinar hosted by Navex Global. Several polls were conducted during the program. In the chart below, 420 respondents selected who they thought had primary responsibility for organizational trust.

Do you agree?

 

 

If you would like to learn more about who owns trust, please click on this recent Human Synergistics/ Culture University article, Creating a High Trust Culture: Who is Responsible?

Please stop by our website for additional resources, or schedule a call to learn how we can help elevate trust in your leadership team and among employees in your organization.

Did you know that over 136,000 global professionals have Tapped into Trust? Have you?

 

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

, , , , ,

Apr
28

This week’s Trust Insights welcomes our Trust Council members who joined us in addressing the following question:

Is the Apple/Google Contact Tracing Plan Worthy of our Trust?

by Barbara Brooks Kimmel, Founder Trust Across America-Trust Around the World

 

During these trying times, Apple and Google claim to have temporarily placed their corporate competitiveness on hold to begin collaborating on at least one very large data project. It’s called contact tracing, “the process of tracking down the people with whom infected patients have interacted, and making sure they get tested or go into quarantine’ according to this recent NPR article. The Apple/Google “alliance” will expand the reach of existing contract tracing capabilities. This initiative has raised many questions and multiple collective eyebrows, not only for our trust and ethics subject matter expert community, but also for the general public, and for good reasons. For example:

  • Why should the public now trust the tech giants with their data when these companies have not proven themselves trustworthy in the past?
  • Should all trust concerns be set aside in the interest of global health? 

Who better to ask than Trust Across America’s  Trust Council? Our council is comprised of senior members of our Trust Alliance who are some of the world’s leading trust subject matter experts.

What we already know about trusting the tech giants

Bart Alexander shared a quick retrospective on the state of tech’s visibility into our private lives: 

Providers such as Apple and Google already have comprehensive information about our location.  Even with location services (GPS) off, they have visibility into the relative strength of every wifi signal and cell signal. From years of collection including through  Google’s fleet of Street View cars, they can correlate that triangulated location with GPS.  With other data bases, they can determine if we are at home, at a shop or even a medical facility.  Google recently reached a $13 million settlement on the use of Street View cars for MAC address collection that goes back a decade.  This kind of information is used for target marketing to the public.  To now add a permission marketing app to supplement with Bluetooth technology is a rather minor addition to the existing privacy concerns, and at least has a public health purpose.

Natalie Doyle Oldfield who spent twenty years working in IT before turning her attention to organizational trust, added a bit more historical perspective:

As history has shown, wars vastly expand governments’ powers to regulate, to collect data and introduce new measures.  For example, income tax was introduced as a war time measures act in the interest of public welfare.  At the same time, strict policies to protect personal income data were enacted. Census taking provides another historical example of data collection.

Banks, health care professionals, lawyers, accountants and other professionals must follow established confidentiality rules and codes of ethics to keep our personal data secure and private. For the most part, the regulatory bodies have put safeguards in place to ensure these professions do not abuse our privacy.  And if they do, there are repercussions. Medical professionals can lose their licenses to practice and lawyers can be disbarred. 

The question is will “Big Tech” demonstrate that they too not only can but WILL voluntarily meet the highest ethical standards? Can they provide sound answers to the following questions: Specifically, what data will be collected and who will have access to it?   Are we committing to practicing privacy and security by design? What about HIPAA certification? Will we do what’s ethical and in the public’s best privacy interests,  or only what’s regulated, understanding that tech regulations are lagging far behind other industries like finance and health care.

Personal Trust vs. Societal Health

Charlie Green’s response is one of “Roll the dice trust.”

Personal trust inevitably comes in conflict with tech privacy and security concerns. After all, the height of privacy and security tech models are called “zero trust” for a reason. Because it has nothing to do with personal trust.

I think the trust issue in this case is that we need to trust Apple and Google and each other, adding some clear transparency bumpers, to do something potentially tremendously positive in the face of a pandemic.

Randy Conley sits in the camp of “cautious optimism.”

I think technology can play a tremendously helpful role in public health or disaster management situations like this, AND, we have to be cognizant of the personal privacy issues involved. I believe South Korea has leveraged personal technology to a large degree in their successful management of the COVID-19 virus. The reality is that we live with an illusion of privacy. Despite our safeguards, we don’t have as much privacy as we think we do. If nefarious actors in Big Tech or any skilled hacker wants information on us, they can get it.

Linda Fisher Thornton considers the trade offs:

“The challenge we face is balancing the benefits of surveillance during the COVID-19 pandemic, which potentially includes saving lives, with the costs in terms of the loss of privacy and autonomy. The surveillance approach puts the safety of the masses ahead of the privacy and autonomy of individuals  For surveillance to be effective, a strong majority will need to allow access to their location and health status data. To convince them to do that, tech companies will need to demonstrate trustworthy intentions, a clear plan, full disclosure, and implementation that includes privacy protections.” 

Bob Whipple adds that with the tech solutions, just remember that anything that is made by people can be hacked by other people.  So the potential of abuse in electronic tracing is immense.

Pandemics Aside, Trust is ALWAYS a Function of Leadership

Bob Vanourek, a former CEO of several large pubic companies reminds us that:

Good leaders go first in extending trust and scale up or down afterwards depending on the behavior of the other. 

This pandemic is a huge Black Swan (or perhaps a “known-unknown”) event that will change much of our world forever. Some would argue that using such tech will help save lives and is, therefore, worthwhile. Others will argue the privacy invasion issues are scary, and we can’t take a step down this potentially slippery slope.

Like many ethical issues, there are legitimate pros and cons on both sides of the argument. Should the government pass a law outlawing this technology and behavior? I think not. Should we blindly accept the tech companies to handle this without close scrutiny? I think not. 

Stephen M.R. Covey’s “smart trust” applies here alongside Jim Kouzes’ “go first” dictum. Let’s extend Google and Apple smart trust and closely monitor what they are doing, adjusting accordingly.

Wrapping up

Getting back to Bart Alexander:

In 1988, Shoshana Zuboff wrote “In the Age of the Smart Machine” that increasing automation can be used to empower or control us at work and beyond.  Even in that pre-internet era, the key moral issue of surveillance had emerged: for whom and for what purpose are we giving up our privacy?

I’ve argued (in the work I did for the U of Denver Institute for Enterprise Ethics) that these moral issues should not and cannot be resolved by engineers.  We need sociologists and ethicist to struggle with what otherwise are just technical problems to be overcome.  I would add that public health officials will always err on the side of protection versus personal freedoms, embodied in the precautionary principle.  They may often be right, but they and the software engineers’ solutions should not be without scrutiny.

Finally, as the Founder of Trust Across America- Trust Around the World, I’ll add my perspective. I do not believe that these two tech giants will receive adequate voluntary public buy-in to reach the scale they had hoped for. They simply haven’t earned the public trust required of such a large initiative. That being said, something tells me that Apple and Google already have all the technology and data they need to go forward, with or without permission, while other competing interests attempt to play catch up.

One member of our Trust Council shared this quote from the often controversial Winston Churchill: “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, along with members of its Trust Alliance, offers both online and in-person workshops to help leaders, teams and organizations build their trust competency. These are some samples of recent engagements.

Catch up on our 2020 Trust Insights series at this link.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is an award-winning communications executive and the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Barbara has consulted with many Fortune 500 CEOs and their firms, and also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance . She is  the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series and TRUST! Magazine.  Barbara holds a BA in International Affairs and an MBA.

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

, , , , ,

Apr
26

 

According to these recent Gallup polls, American’s trust in government is at an all time low. The same can be said for American’s trust in media.

 

Two questions. If Americans don’t trust the government to handle problems, and they don’t trust mass media then:

  1. “Why are American’s placing trust in their elected officials to make the “right” decisions for them during this crisis?
  2. “Why are American’s now trusting the mass media to report the news fully, accurately and fairly?

What are your thoughts? What will be the “state of trust” in government and media when this crisis ends? 

Post your thoughts here or contact me directly at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com 

 


, ,

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.

, , , , , , ,

Apr
07

Our new reality is teaching us so much about trust. Barbara Brooks Kimmel

This past Thursday, nine members of our Trust Alliance, from four countries, convened for the first in a series of weekly Zoom “Lunch and Learns.” The discussion topic was Trust Lessons from Coronavirus. The conversation ran the gamut from families to communities, and up the societal ladder to government and beyond.

 

 

Let’s begin with trust lessons for the family and work our way up from there.

The Family

The modern family operates differently than it did just a generation ago, when more mothers stayed home with their children. In my research I uncovered the following. As of 2018, 63% of all American families have two working parents. In 1989 the number was 53%. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics.) This represents close to a 19% increase. Suddenly, both parents are home, with many working remotely, and their kids are home too, with no school or childcare options. Certainly a shock and a “new reality” for many families. What does this have to do with trust? Just about everything.

Randy Conley of The Ken Blanchard Companies spoke about benevolence and compassion as not only the launch pad for building greater trust, but as the basis of the human fundamental connection. Working parents may want to consider using this “teaching” moment to build even stronger bonds with their children who will then have an improved “skill set” to build them with their friends, communities, teammates and beyond. Parents may consider taking some of these lessons back to their jobs when they return. This could translate into higher levels of workplace trust and more trustworthy generations in the future.

The Community

At the community level, Lea Brovedani is encouraged by how she sees people connecting, displaying tremendous empathy and generosity towards others by offering to help neighbors, joining together in fundraising for nurses and hospitals, and accepting “distancing” (and even washing hands) in the interests of protecting others. Both empathy and generosity build trust.

Darshan Kulkarni, our resident bioethicist, happens to live across the street from a hospital in a large US city. He is witnessing the virus first hand from his window. He urges everyone in every community to take time to separate fact from fiction to get a better “feel” for what is going on, and lessen fear and panic. Understanding that the political push and pull, and the day to day Fox vs. CNN reporting may hurt trust in the short term, it’s now up to communities to pull together to ensure that trust is not eroded over the long term.

The Workplace

David Belden, an organizational strategy consultant discussed how the coronavirus will permanently change the way we work. He reminded us that in many ways the 2008 financial crisis taught companies how to be more productive with fewer employees. Twelve years later and many people are accustomed to working remotely. Now, even more employees have joined those ranks. Will that continue post Coronavirus crisis? Will employers become more efficient? Will trust flourish as in-person micromanagement is no longer an option? Perhaps output increases when time clocks no longer need to be punched.

Will home based employees be more productive with less rules and restrictions? How about those organizations where remote teams have flourished for many years, using ever improving technology to enhance a new form of “teamwork” and efficiency? Has their forward-thinking strategy built a stronger foundation of trust, and a clear business advantage going forward? Because companies are now being given an opportunity to become even more efficient, will they share their wealth with their employees? This is the perfect time for leaders to demonstrate their support for their workers through their actions, not just their words. Think “Purpose” with a capital “P.”

From Canada, Natalie Doyle Oldfield reminded us of how trust builds business relationships, internally with employees and externally with customers and suppliers. At Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, we call that the trust “bank account.” Whether an entrepreneur, a small business owner or the CEO of a multinational company, the bigger that trust account pre crisis, the more stakeholders will remain loyal during the crisis, and the faster the post crisis recovery will be for business leaders who banked it.

Mark Donohue founder of LifeGuides presented another point of view expressing concerns that working from home will be isolating while social connections disintegrate. He shared that 43% of the US workforce currently works remotely (Gallup). Perhaps the time has come, or is past due, to redesign support systems that not only build trust between employers and employees, but also offer better benefits including counseling services during times of isolation and/or personal crisis.

Government

Our European members weighed in on the role government is playing in building or destroying trust. Olivia Mathijsen, a leadership and business advisor is at ground zero for Coronavirus, working remotely in Milan, Italy. She reminded us that different legislators have contrasting points of view, not all data is created equal, that cost cutting in the health sector has created some of the dissolution of trust, and that some media outlets are fueling mistrust by disseminating misinformation. But she sees a silver lining, and that’s compassion being shown and assistance offered not only between individuals, but also between countries, essential components for building societal trust that will hopefully continue post crisis.

Geert Vermeulen, an ethics and compliance expert reporting in from the Netherlands spoke of the shortages of critical supplies and regulatory constraints that have further taxed the system. But he also sees elevating levels of trust as individuals and companies work together to meet societal needs.

The last few minutes of the conversation turned to the shared GLOBAL level of accountability, empathy, compassion and benevolence that has been so apparent over the past several weeks. If we can maintain these basic human behaviors when the Coronavirus crisis subsides, societal trust will certainly be stronger.

In closing, David Belden pointed out that the Latinized form of the Greek word crisis (krisis) means turning point. Coronavirus is already moving the world in the direction of increasing empathy, compassion and benevolence. And as Mark Donohue concluded, the nature of trust is built on the “golden rule,” perhaps the most important reminder during these challenging times.

 

An abbreviated version of this article was published earlier this week on SmartBrief.

If you would like to participate in our upcoming “Lunch & Learns” join our Trust Alliance.

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.

, , , , ,

Mar
31

This week we are providing a quarterly wrap up of our Trust Insights series. Many of the world’s leading trust scholars and practitioners are collaborating on this project to bring you actionable insights that you can use to elevate trust at both the team and organizational level.

 

 

Simply click on the blue link in the list below to read more.

 

Trust Insights Week #1: Stephen M.R. Covey
Trust is both earned and given. January 7, 2020
Trust Insights Week #2: David Reiling
Developing trust starts in the C-Suite. January 14, 2020
Trust Insights Week #3: Margaret Heffernan
Trust is always and only about what you DO; nothing else matters. January 21, 2020
Trust Insights Week #4: Special Announcement
2020 Top Thought Leaders. January 28, 2020
Trust Insights Week #5: Charles H. Green
Trust is what happens when a risk-taking trustor meets a virtuous trustee. February 4, 2020
Trust Insights Week #6: Walt Rakowich
Real leadership starts by building trust; without trust, you have no platform from which to build positive influence with others. February 11, 2020
Trust Insights Week #7: Bob Vanourek
Three trust questions are the best way to deal with the ethical dilemmas we face. February 18, 2020
Trust Insights Week #8: Barbara Brooks Kimmel
The benefits of high trust are too numerous for leaders to ignore. February 25, 2020
Trust Insights Week #9: Bob Whipple
The absence of fear is the incubator of trust. March 3 , 2020
Trust Insights Week #10: Doug Conant
Building trust doesn’t have to be overwhelming… March 10, 2020
Trust Insights Week #11: Lea Brovedani
It is easier to trust someone and for others to trust you if there is genuine care… March 17, 2020
Trust Insights Week #12: Sean Flaherty
Developing trust starts with building a culture that values trust. March 24, 2020

 

 

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.

, , , , , ,

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.

, , , , ,

Mar
10

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

“Building trust doesn’t have to be overwhelming; trust starts with small actions that honor your commitment to others and grows larger and more powerful over time.”  Doug Conant, ConantLeadership

 

 

Can you expand a bit on this important insight?

Many leaders are so beset by the deluge of competing priorities they face on any given day that the idea of creating space for building and maintaining trust is daunting. But the heartening truth is that trust—like anything else—can be built by taking small, manageable steps. Rather than feeling that you must embark on an enormous and momentous trust-building endeavor that could extend across the space of many months or years, you can start to bring trust to life in your leadership today by taking one small action in service to trust.

Remember: Behaviors are what make trust real. Focus on building micro-practices that honor your commitment to others into the way you lead; this allows you to create trustworthy teams and organizations while acknowledging the zany reality of busy, modern life. Each step you take towards trust can and should be in harmony with the pace and complexity of the modern enterprise. You don’t have to choose between honoring your commitments and cultivating trust. With a small-steps approach, you can do both.

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

In 2001, on my first day as CEO of Campbell Soup Company, I arrived to a foreboding sight: a rundown building surrounded by razor wire with guard towers looming in the sky. The grounds were overgrown with weeds and the whole headquarters looked like a prison. Inside was just as bad: the paint was peeling and there were dead plants in the common areas. The drab tableau was a grim visual metaphor for the state of the company overall where market performance had been declining and employee engagement had become abysmally low. There was barely any trust left between the leadership and the employees. It was going to be an uphill battle to rebuild trust and advance performance. But I was determined to make an impact. I knew I couldn’t tackle it all at once; I had to start small.

The first micro-action I took was the simple act of listening, really listening to people. I started soliciting feedback right away. I discovered that many employees felt disrespected, even imprisoned, by their sub-par workplace environment. Some leaders might dismiss this as petty belly-aching. But they were right; the facilities needed help. And I saw a clear and compelling opportunity to start to build trust. Here was a way I could demonstrate that I valued the perceptions of our employees. Relative to other initiatives, it would be a low-investment endeavor that could earn me lots of goodwill.

Almost immediately, physical changes were made; we removed the razor wire, we cleared the overgrowth, we repainted the walls. These improvements quickly contributed to an increase in employee engagement. Performance got better. A virtuous circle began to form. As I heard people and took action in response to that listening, I earned trust, which led to better outcomes, which led to even more trust.

Building trust began with something as tiny and seemingly inconsequential as a fresh coat of paint. But it activated a cycle of continuous improvement across all of our operations and paved the way for more and better facility improvements. Over my decade-long tenure, these upgrades became symbols of my promise to listen to the people who worked there. Bettering the work environment and making people feel heard ultimately led to a modern reimagined world headquarters in Camden that everyone in the company could take pride in. The better facilities were a manifestation of trust-building in action. We started with very small actions like listening, pulling up weeds, and removing some razor wire; it might not seem like much, but these actions grew into something bigger which was inflected throughout all of our initiatives and our improved performance in the marketplace.

Little, incremental steps are the “walk” that demonstrate the “talk,” or language of trust. It’s a powerful lesson to learn. You don’t have to fix everything all at once. To start to build trust, just do something small. Do it earnestly, do it quickly, and you’ll begin to create a positive cycle of elevated trustworthiness and better outcomes.

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

There is an undeniable dearth of trust globally. That said, I do think the global trust climate is modestly improving–at least in the business community (where the baseline is admittedly far too low to begin with). It’s easy to watch the news and feel discouraged—and it is important to have a clear-eyed view of the trust challenges we face as a whole—but it’s important to remember that good news seldom makes headlines.

While I do believe trust is modestly improving, we can’t rest on our laurels. Leaders must lead from in front on this issue, championing the importance of trust from the top, and modeling the behaviors that build trust–with diligence and passion.

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

I don’t believe it is a crisis; however, it simply must get better. When we catastrophize, we let ourselves off the hook; people begin to feel the problem is so big that they absolve themselves of the responsibility of addressing it. This benefits no one. We must be both idealistic and realistic: we have to acknowledge that there is indeed a lack of trust in public institutions and in leadership while simultaneously working to be the change we want to see in the world at large. As leaders, it is our duty to show people the way. We have to rise to the occasion and stand up and be counted. Trust is paramount. Let’s show people how to build it one small action at a time.

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

As a leader, I always benefit from the learnings and insights from a community of my peers. The Trust Alliance helps me engage with a like-minded cadre of trust-focused leaders, buoys my dedication to continuous improvement, and empowers me to remain steadfast in my commitment to workplace trust.

Doug, 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?

Doug Conant is an internationally renowned business leader and New York Times bestselling author with over 45 years of experience at world-class global companies. He is Founder of ConantLeadership, a boutique leadership firm committed to championing leadership that works in the 21st century. For the past 20 years of his leadership journey, Doug has honed his craft as a C-suite executive – first as President of the Nabisco Foods Company, then as CEO of Campbell Soup Company (2001-2011), and finally as Chairman of Avon Products. Doug’s new book, The Blueprint: 6 Powerful Steps to Lift Your Leadership to New Heights is now available wherever books are sold.

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. 

Have you reviewed how our workshops are helping teams and organizations just like yours to elevate trust?

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: barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

, , ,

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.

 

, , , , ,