Monthly Archives: May 2022

What’s Your Company’s Trust Rating?

Trust is earned.  When someone says they “trust” you or your company, they’re telling you that they believe in your truth, reliability, ability or strength to deliver on your claim/promise. It’s the conclusion you reach based on your past history and how you presented it. If you’ve earned trust, then you or your company is likely to outperform your “competitors” over the long-term.

Trust Across America found last year that the stocks of companies deemed more trustworthy have greatly outperformed others. After quantifying the value of trust by looking at 10 stocks of the most trustworthy companies 10 years ago, they discovered that 5 were bought by other companies and the other five gained an average of 868% vs. 278% for the SP 500.  Similarly, the 10 most trustworthy companies from five years ago and three years ago also handily topped the S&P 500.

How would you measure trust?  Studying companies like Microsoft, Nike, Nvidia and Starbucks, they focused on seven traits including:

  • Clarity of corporate purpose, values and culture. Employees know how to practice them, bring strategy to life and have systems in place to support what’s important and values
  • Corporate integrity. Leaders act in respectfully authentic ways, consistent with purpose and values
  • Culture of transparency and truth-telling, even when it hurts
  • Communication within the company as a priority before other stakeholders
  • Belonging – which is more than just diversity and inclusion
  • Focus on relationships vs. transactions, internally and externally
  • CEO serves as Chief Communications Officer to meaningfully connect internally and externally.

How do you measure trust? Which traits do you see most important in building trust among employees, customers and shareholders?  Do you use a Net Promoter Score, is it time for a trustworthiness Score?

Reframing a Position Can Make All the Difference

As an executive coach (with Vistage Worldwide), I work with CEOs who are struggling with the “Great Resignation”. They feel like victims; they’re committed to helping employees grow personally and professionally by increasing sales and profits for all to share, but now have to deal with another challenge – hiring new people to get the work done. 

After many conversations, and an analysis of their workforce changes, we discover that they actually are losing fewer employees proportionally than many other companies. It led to a reframing, we call the “Great Exploration”. Many workers who left are new to the workforce or near retirement; unsure that they are in the right job, they are exploring options. 

Supporting this reframe is a recent study that found 20% already have remorse! And, some are discovering it even before they start, as noted by a Wall Street Journal article on “ghosting” by recruits who don’t show up on their first day!

As a recent Forbes article notes, using the exploration re-frame, allows companies and individuals to find the “gift and opportunity” in this pattern. It’s giving workers a chance to grow professionally by developing soft and hard skills to make more meaningful contributions in their companies and/or communities, now and even more in the future.

We know that using automation, digital transformation, RPA, etc. means we can significantly reduce the extent to which people do routine, data-related jobs that computers can do faster, 24/7, and without human fatigue errors. Estimates are 25-40%!  Engaging them in more strategic activities (e.g., client-facing, creative and/or collaborative), with a team-of-teams structure makes people more efficient and effective.

Now, imagine having high-potential recent recruits enrolled in a 2-years leader development program in to acquire the skills to be fast-tracked for future leadership positions.  Such employees stay and grow with the company; with faster and smarter growth, both company and employee experience the “Great Elevation”.

Indeed, Vistage’s new Emerging Leadership program does! When workers learn that you’re investing time and money over two years in their career development using expert workshops, mentoring with managers and accountability-pods, you’ve launched an “antidote” to the “Great Resignation! (See the Emerging Leader Program and the 12 Leadership Competencies for details.)

As a Vistage Chair, I’m launching one such group in NY; other Chairs are launching them in other states. Most are physical; some are virtual. Let’s help individuals elevate themselves and companies elevate their workforce’s ability to grow smarter and faster in the future! 

Effective Meetings: Are You Unleashing Conversational Capacity?

Running efficient and effective meetings has always been a challenge. Meetings may be needed for group decision-making, but much of the time spent in the meetings is wasted. How do we prevent that?

Craig Weber has been studying the process for years. He notes that poor workplace communication has costly consequences such as:

  • Lower engagement and trust from staff
  • Frustrated employees and friction among team members
  • Reduced profitability and slower growth
  • Low job satisfaction and high turnover.

He then developed a model, called Conversational Capacity, which is “the ability to engage in constructive learning-focused dialogue about difficult subjects, in challenging circumstances, and across tough boundaries.”  

Imagine a meeting in which the leader has made it clear to others in the meeting that she/he is not open to hearing certain things that attack the company and/or the leader.  This stifles candor; it also limits an openness to explore options. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon for many organizations. What’s worse, is that this may not always be conscious: senior executives stay away from certain topics when the leader is present, yet will address them when the leader isn’t present.

Conversational capacity takes place between two extremes: curiosity and candor. You want people to be curious and pose questions in an open atmosphere to explore topics. On the other hand, you want to deliver “radical” candor – which may offend some of the players. The job of the meeting leader is to facilitate the conversation so you get both exploration and candor. 

Sometimes the way to do that is to observe the different culture of meetings when the leader (or another meeting member) is not present. This can be done by rating the meetings with and without key members and uncovering the extent to which conversational capacity was used in some versus others. 

How are you fostering good workplace communication?  Are you monitoring the extent to which everyone at the meeting is sharing their full talents versus holding some back?  Find a way to do so; the most effective meetings have access to the openness to share candor and curiosity.

How Empowering Is Your Culture?

At this stage, we all know the importance of culture. Peter Drucker told us how important it is that your company is founded on the right-set of values and behaviors for superior service to customers and relationships among workers. As he said: “It eats strategy for breakfast”. 

In every presentation opportunity, success isn’t just the message content; the style in which it’s presented is also critical. In the case of culture, is it adoption empowering employees to proactively go beyond expectations.   One story first shared in Practical Wisdom (by Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe) (and later retold by David Brooks in The Second Mountain) demonstrates this point well. As I read both books prior to a podcast for corporate leaders, I thought I would share it.

Luke, a janitor in a major teaching hospital, is sharing how his job is structured with some social scientists. While doing so, he shares an incident concerning a comatose young patient and his father who had been keeping vigil for months. The custodian cleaned the comatose young patient’s room while the father stepped out for a few minutes. When the father returned, he snapped at Luke for not cleaning the room that day. Luke then chose to clean the room again. Why? 

Luke explains the situation. The son had been in a fight and when brought into the hospital was in a coma. Everyday, Luke would clean the room while the father stayed in the room. Today he was out smoking a cigarette. When he returned they met in the hallways and the father “freaked out” telling him he didn’t clean the room. At that point, he was about to reply defensively – and then stopped himself. “I’m sorry. I’ll go clean the room.” Why did he clean it a second time?

“I cleaned it so that he could see me clean it… I can understand him… It was like six months that his son was here. He’d be a little frustrated and I cleaned it again. But I wasn’t angry with him. I guess I could understand.”

While the job description of the custodian detailed all the things that had to be cleaned in the room and the standard of care, it did not address the cultural elements: who are the “customers” in when the purpose of care involves patients and caretakers.  But the culture of the hospital made it clear that it was not just the patient but also those caring for the patient and empowered the custodian to do the right thing: give the father peace of mind. It may not have been “efficient” to clean a room twice, but it was more “effective” to do so.

As you know, one member of the Presentation Excellence Group is (A4S) that develops job descriptions that address job performance, cultural behaviors and leadership skills. This is especially important in the hybrid working world when people have to manage themselves and members of their teams, rather than the hierarchical staff “below” them. Key to creating an effective culture is empowering people to take on those behaviors which enable them to go “beyond the call of duty” to meet customers’ needs. 

Just as Ritz Carlton empowers employees to spend extra money on guests in order to ensure that they are pleased with their stay if something goes wrong, every service company should empower its workers to invest extra efforts to make sure customers are pleased. And the story shows that if done correctly, it can make a significant difference for companies involved with life-and-death issues.

How are you empowering your employees to fully actualize your company’s values?  Share with us. (To learn more about A4S, contact

VIRTUAL Presentation Training Workshop

Be the Best Presenter You Can Be
Friday August 12th, 9AM to 5PM

More Info
Win More Bids! Get our e-book:
Present To Win The RFP

Need a Speaker for Next Event?

Request Today
Let us know your needs
For Business Owners & CEOs
Be an Even Better Leader
Outperform Your Competitors!
Learn why 21,000 leaders
belong to Vistage Worldwide

Does Your Website Attract
New Businesses?

In any industry, your site
can sparkle - and sell!

Request Evaluation
Get 15-min review of your website from Market Smith, leave with game-changing insights.

Company's revenue plateaued?

Maybe it's time to Re-brand!

Request DBC's Rebrand Plan

Market Your Company More Effectively!

Request free Book
'The Growth Gears'

Request today!
from Chief Outsiders

"Better Way" Webinars
View Many of Our Past Webinars

Learn, Enjoy and Prosper

Watch Some Executive Breakfast Club Presentations

Watch Video
HR. com recognized the Presentation Excellence Group
for leader excellence in the Leadership Partners & Providers category.


May 2022