Do You Lead Like Justin?

Transparency door opening to show a magnifying glass openness, c

Edelman’s Trust Barometer of 2016 is the largest study in the world on trust including how CEOs are perceived. Participants in the study rate their expectations of CEO behaviour which makes me reflect on our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau’s leadership style.

According to Edelman’s Trust Barometer 2016, CEOs in Canada have gained 8 percentage points in a year on the trust scale, yet CEOs still have the trust of only 35% of those surveyed. So what can they do to increase their trustworthiness?

As always, ensure that their product and/or service are consistently reliable and solid quality. People expect this as at a minimum and on its own, good products and services are not enough to garner trust in a CEO.

According to study results, people want the following before trusting CEOs:

  1. Canadians want transparent leaders, like Justin, who share their personal struggles and successes with their teams. Using personal challenges as learning opportunities for others can create an environment of openness and trust. When a leader takes the risk to open up, it invites trust to follow.
  2. Be Personable.  Let people know who you really are as a person behind the suit. We are now seeking CEOs that we can relate to as people. Connect in a genuine way to others so they can relate to you.  Our brains are wired so that we are more likely to trust people who are similar to us. Let employees know who you really are – not just your role as boss.
  3. Be Ethical! Act within the law and be honest. Treat others with respect and dignity at all times.
  4. People are becoming more values driven and as a result, want to see CEOs who are committed to the greater good of society.
    • Get involved in charity work; giving back to the community in some way – perhaps it’s going with your team to work on at a local charity for the day to do a project.
    • Consider what is within your power to assist your community – both your work community and your home community.
  5. Be willing to Collaborate. Ensure you are demonstrating a desire to solve problems in the name of the greater good. Release the old “do it my way” type of leadership and replace it with innovative and collaborative solutions.

We all know that we do business with those we trust. As a CEO, take the time to reflect on these five areas and see where you might need to improve. Consider enlisting the services of an Executive Coach to assist with your transformation.

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