Trust in Crisis Mode
A couple of years ago I was introduced to the Edelman Trust Barometer, published by the fine folks from Edelman Public Relations. The report is a study of trust and credibility around the world in our key institutions. 2017 marked the 17th year the study was conducted. And this most recent report, in short, revealed that trust is in crisis mode.
Around the world, the general population’s trust in all four key institutions measured — business, government, non-governmental organizations and media — declined broadly. Trust in media is at all-time lows in 17 countries, while trust levels in government (41 percent) dropped in 14 markets and is the least trusted institution in half of the 28 countries surveyed. I was particularly interested to learn that the credibility of leaders is also in peril: CEO credibility dropped to an all-time low of 37 percent, plummeting in every country studied. At least the CEO remains ahead of government leaders who are least credible at 29 percent.
We at Assurance are spoiled. We’ve been blessed with a CEO, Tony Chimino, whose trust and credibility quotient is so high it’s almost without equal. I’ve been privy to the results of independent employee surveys and know for certain that his personal scores are nearly off the charts. He would never admit it, but he’s a big reason why Assurance enjoys its “Great Place to Work” status.
So what makes for a credible CEO? I can only speak to what I see, but if I had to start a list it would include things like:
- Be humble, appreciative and authentic
- Be the smartest person in the room, but don’t show off
- Find common ground with employees by sharing examples of humanity, addressing shortcomings and acknowledging struggles
- Always do the necessary homework and come to each meeting prepared to contribute
- Speak to a collective vision where the world is greater because we all work together to make it so
I could go on for days, but the key thing for me is that great, authentic leadership never goes out of style. We need more of it in this country and around the world. If we can find it, I believe we can start to turn the numbers in that Trust Barometer around.
For more on the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, visit their microsite: http://www.edelman.com/trust2017/
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