Let’s assume that as a CEO or board leader you want your firm to be viewed as trustworthy by its stakeholders. You realize a more trusting set of relationships between people will be useful, perhaps even a breakthrough to improved performance. Great.
But this is a field where you don’t have expertise. You have been bred in the battles of line and staff assignments where results had to be achieved, new ideas implemented, and problems resolved fast. Building organizational trust is a strange, new endeavor.
What can you do? Give them some books to read? Hire a consultant to conduct some workshops? Tell everyone you’ll put “trustworthiness” into the performance appraisals? That will get their attention, but it may not help much.
Fortunately, unlike ethics, or values, trust is a much more understandable concept. Everyone knows intuitively what trust means because they have experience trusting, or not trusting, family members, friends, and acquaintances. They’ve seen and felt trust; and they’ve known and experienced distrust.
One of the easiest and best ways to engender trust in your organization is to put it on your daily docket: talk about trust daily – in your staff meetings, your all-hands meetings; talk about trust in your investor conference calls and customer meetings; ask people questions about trust; explore together what you know and don’t know about trust.
Put trust on your daily docket. Your trust level will soar.
Bob Vanourek is the former CEO of five firms from a start-up to a billion dollar NY stock exchange turnaround. He is the co-author of the award-winning book Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations. He is one of Trust Across America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior. www.triplecrownleadership.com
This article is one of several Bob Vanourek wrote for Trust Inc., A Guide for Boards and C-Suites, published by Next Decade, Inc. 2014 and edited by Barbara Brooks Kimmel, Executive Director, Trust Across America – Trust Around the World.