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Tips for Leaders - Pass It On!

Trust was in crisis in 2017, according to the Annual Global Study conducted by the well-respected research firm Edelman. And this year? Well, the title of The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer report says it all: “The Battle for Truth.”

For NGOs and businesses to government and the media, the U.S. Trust Index crashed 23 points since 2017. A polarization of trust dominates. The Global Trust Index remains at “distruster” level. And of all the countries in the world surveyed, the decline in trust in the U.S. is the steepest ever measured!

While the startling decline in trust in our institutions rightly gives us pause and reason to be concerned, there are other findings from this sweeping study worthy of deeper review and consideration. Take, for example, Edelman’s measure of trust in what the study calls Voices of Authority. When asked to rate a list of spokespeople as very credible or extremely credible, successful entrepreneurs, academic experts, CEOs, members of Boards of Directors, and journalists all increased from 1 to 12 percent.

Calling out the role CEOs are expected to play, the study finds that respondents believe building trust is their number one job. In fact, in a supplementary report focused specifically on Expectations for CEOs, Edelman concludes: “CEOs who do not speak out when it matters should anticipate paying a penalty: 56 percent of all respondents say they have no respect for CEOs who remain silent on important issues. To build trust, CEOs must lead with purpose, be authentic and galvanize employees.”



Consider what this all means within the context of The Five Practices. Enabling Others to Act is an essential Practice for not only CEOs and the SLT. It’s critical for every leader to “foster collaborations by building trust and facilitating relationships.” Leaders must be the first to step forward and take the lead in creating a climate of trust. And LPI® data confirms that when leaders are seen as developing cooperative relationships among people, they are also viewed as more effective.

There’s much more to learn about how to build trust in your teams and throughout your organizations in The Leadership Challenge, sixth edition

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