Leadership Competencies

Harness the power of trust [video podcast]

John Blakey, who was recently honored with the ‘Trust Across America 2016 Top Thought Leader in Trust’ award, discusses the power and value of trust in the current business climate. 

To understand the value of trust, consider what can happen when you lose it. Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, for instance, cost the company billions in lost sales — not to mention billions more in legal fees and fines. FIFA is in the midst of implementing plans to restore trust following its corruption scandal. And BP is still reeling from the effects of the 2010 oil spill, for which it was convicted of gross negligence and reckless conduct.

“We find that, in today’s moral climate, the public at large is saying … ‘We don’t think this is right anymore,’” says John Blakey, Vistage coach and the co-author of The Trusted Executive: Nine Leadership Habits that Inspire Results, Relationships and Reputation. “The challenge for leaders — whether they be political leaders, sports leaders or business leaders — is to get ahead of the curve with trust.”

Blakey is on a mission to help leaders do just that. After years of advising and studying the subject of trust, he has developed a model for building trust that rests on the three pillars of ability, integrity and benevolence. Leaders that focus on these pillars and develop “nine habits,” such as choosing to be humble, will grow into trusted executives, he explains.

This process begins with some introspective work, and Blakey encourages executives to ask themselves five core questions:

  • Can you deliver on your promises?
  • Are you honest, open and humble?
  • Do you make personal sacrifices for the wider good?
  • Do you share the good news of your vision passionately and consistently?
  • Do you deliver random acts of kindness to your stakeholders?

In this Vistage Podcast (above and below), Blakey shares insights about the critical role that trust plays in business and society. He also offers practical guidance for how business leaders can build or rebuild trust. Notes Blakey, “I’m convinced that the world is ready for leaders who rely upon the power of trust rather than trusting in power.”


Category: Leadership Competencies

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About the Author: Dave Nelsen

I joined Vistage as a founding member (CE 676) in 2003. I've started four tech companies, attracting $70MM in venture capital. I was recognized as E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year (2000) and as Vistage Best Speaker of the Year (2011). I've h…

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