Quality and Meaning for People | Trust Trends 2014 Series

Talent economists know that in order to maintain top employees, they have to develop business around meaningful missions and create fulfilling roles.

In the open-talent economy, employees have options, and talent is a scarce resource. Business leaders are thinking like talent economists and sustainability directors. Leaders know that in order to keep top talent, they must introduce environmental, social and governance strategies, provide collaborative work, create environments conducive to multiple generations, allow for flexible work schedules, and focus on happiness. People are searching for meaningful mission statements and high quality work environments.


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Get Out and Enjoy the Frigid Weather | The Trust Edge

We’ve endured and even enjoyed one frigid winter in Minnesota this year. From –55 F windchill to plenty of snow, I’ve found the best way to survive the winter is to embrace it. Our family loves to skate, ski, snowmobile, and sled. Take a look a Isaiah’s new jump. 


It is easy to stay inside and complain about the weather. I takes work to put on snow clothes and get outside. But, when you do, you feel better every time. It is easy to complain about not getting a good nights sleep. It takes work to go to bed on time, stop drinking caffeine, or shut off the TV. It is easy to complain, but it takes work to do what you can do about the situation.

For many things about which we complain, the worst part is taking the first step. Next time you want to complain, ask yourself, “What one step could I take to do something about that?”

Now get out and enjoy the weather.

Trust Trends 2014 | Executive Brief on Trust

We’re excited to introduce our executive brief on the top 8 trends of 2014. This report is Horsager Leadership, Inc.’s first annual report on trust. Our goal is to give leaders insights into the hottest trends of the year and reveal opportunities for applying The Trust Edge 8 pillar framework in a timely manner in order to gain a competitive advantage.

Learn how to gain the ultimate competitive advantage through this year’s key opportunities by clicking on the image below. Feel free to download it as a pdf!

Trust Tip Tuesday: Trust Tips from A-Rod | The Trust Edge

Is A-Rod’s suspension fair? According to a current USA Today poll, 86% of the public thinks it is fair.

Why is it that the majority of the public finds Alex Rodriguez guilty despite the fact that he has yet to be put on trial?

When allegations are made, specifically in sports, the public trusts the media even though the media isn’t always trustworthy. But because of the consistent guilty verdicts in professional sports over the last 10 years, there is no doubt or question that the court of public opinion has made an obvious decision.

As America’s past time, a small decision to use steroids in baseball is not small. Every decision made effects the bigger picture.  These decisions condition the public to have a distrusting perception of not only the individual and their family, but of their team, the MLB, and the reputation of professional sports and American business.


Trust Tip Tuesday from A-Rod:

#1: Ronald Reagan is known for this quote, “Trust, but verify.”

Generalizations exist for a reason. Continue to search for truth before drawing conclusions.

#2: In decision making don’t be nearsighted. Every decision made affects the bigger picture. 


yankees.com, alex rodriguez baseball, yankee alex rodriguez, history of baseball, history on baseball, major baseball player,

NCAA Athletes with a Trust Edge | Eight Pillar People

Lance Armstrong, Manti Te’o, Tiger Woods. These athletes and athletes like them have been the talk of the news and will always be the talk of the news. People are intrigued by scandals. Athletes who are trustworthy, hard-working and respectable are rarely brought to light.

Nick Amuchastegui, Miles Batty, Ashley Brignac, Micah Davis, Robert Griffin III, Stacey Hagensen, Lindsay Lettow, Brooke Pancake, Liz Phillips and Wendy Trott. The only athlete that you may have heard of out of this bunch is 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III, also known as the Washington Redskins’RGIII. These ten athletes hold records in their sport, at their schools and in the NCAA record book. However, that is not what makes these athletes so unique. Their ability to play not just the role of athlete, but of a student first (an excellent one at that), as well as being involved in their community contributes to their uniqueness and the reason why they were named the NCAA Top Ten Athletes of 2013.

With GPA’s of 3.5’s and above, as well as multiple non-profit volunteer initiatives, these athletes know what it takes to be a trusted individual. They didn’t take the short cut to become excellent. They worked hard, and took the more difficult course over the easy course. They extend their hand just enough so that they knew what they could balance as a student-athlete-philanthropist.

The Eight Pillars of Trust are what these athletes are all about. Having a clear vision is what kept their eye on the prize and helped them succeed at what they do best. Each volunteered in different non-profits, such as The Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, The American Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Club, showing compassion, and being an example of servant leadership. They clearly exhibited character in their excellence. All of them showed their commitment to their sport, the communities they were involved in and schooling. Throughout all of these activities they remained fresh, relevant, and capable. They extended their networks by connecting with others outside of their comfort zone and contributed to their teammates, their communities and the world of sports.

Ultimately, the reason all of these athletes obtained such an honorable award was because of their consistency. They delivered the same moral product every time, and were consistent in their actions, which is stronger than superfluous promising words.

Unfortunately, these athletes will go unnoticed in mainstream media, and the scandals of athletes like Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods will always take precedence. One thing can be sure; these athletes will impact so many people throughout their lifetime, because they have proven that having the Eight Pillars of Trust will give you an edge, an edge that will mold an excellent and a trusted individual.

To read more on these trusted athletes, check out the full NCAA Top 10 for 2013 Article: Top 10 in 2013


Top row: Tony Dungy, Keith Jackson, Chad Hennings, Yolanda ‘Gail’ Devers, Bob Cottingham, Dylann Duncan Ceriani, Kirk Rohle, and David Borden 

Bottom row: Wendy Trott, Liz Phillips, Brooke Pancake, Lindsay Lettow, Stacey Hagensen, Micah Davis, Ashley Brignac, Miles Batty, and Nick Amuchastegui (Robert Griffin III was also an awardee but could not attend)



Nick Amuchastegui, Miles Batty, Ashley Brignac, Micah Davis, Robert Griffin III, Stacey Hagensen, Lindsay Lettow, Brooke Pancake, Liz Phillips, Wendy Trott, NCAA , Top 10 NCAA Athletes of 2013, RGIII, Trust in Sports, Building Trust, Eight Pillars of Trust, The Trust Edge 

Pat Summitt: 38 Years of Success | Trust in Sports

After 38 years, the Tennessee Lady Volunteers Basketball players, coaches and community had to say goodbye to the most competent and successful basketball coach, not only in women’s basketball but in NCAA history. Under Pat Summitt’s leadership, the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball program was the most elite the nation has ever seen. Young girls from fourth grade on up would attend Summitt’s basketball camps every summer in hopes of learning how to be the best. Any girl who has ever had a passion for the game of basketball has dreams of being a part of that 11 woman roster and the privilege of wearing the orange and baby blue jerseys.

Pat Summitt made an appearance at 31 NCAA Tournaments, 22 teams made it to the Final Four and eight won NCAA Championship titles. At the end of her career Summitt claimed the title of the Most Winningest Coach in NCAA history, above John Wooden and Mike Krzyzewski, with a record of 1098-208 (.841).

What makes Pat Summitt so great? Trust. Summitt’s life and career exude the Eight Pillars of Trust.

Clarity: Summitt had a clear vision and purpose. She “instilled a pattern of success in her players and constantly challenged them to reach their potential as a student and athlete.” Her program reinforces that a clear vision unifies and motivates.

Compassion: Ask any of Pat’s current and former players and each one will tell you that Summitt was the hardest coach but the most loving. “Her players speak of the opportunities afforded to them later in life with a degree in life lessons from Summitt…” Summitt was trusted because she was a selfless and sacrificial leader who thought beyond her own interests.

Character:  Integrity is being the same in thoughts, words, and actions. Pat Summitt never boasted, although proud of her players she was respected for her humility. Her principles and values she carried with her at home, in practice and in games. Her accountability came from a staff that respected her principles and they supported her in them.

Competency: Pat was raised with the principles of hard work, and as a young girl after she finished her farm chores she would end up playing basketball in a hayloft.  “ She was strong … had great instincts … was awesome on defense … took a charge like a greedy housewife … denied the ball all over the court … rebounded with authority … took the ball to the hoop … and then could knock the lights out over a zone defense.” These characteristics led her to playing on the Olympic Women’s basketball team, a four year career in the WNBA and landing a job as the UT Volunteers Women’s basketball coach at the age of 22.

Commitment: Pat is the ultimate picture of commitment. She played basketball for the University of Tennessee for her college career and coached there for 38 years. Summitt’s passion for the game was the reason for such great commitment to the team.

Connection: Pat was one of the best coaches in the NCAA not only because of her knowledge of the game of basketball. She knew that building a great team could only happen through connecting with her players and staff. She cared beyond herself, asked great questions, listened, collaborated, was genuine, was grateful, and made a rule to never complain.

Contribution: Pat was the pioneer of NCAA women’s basketball.  She contributed her life to the game of basketball.  She was known to deliver results, and not just in basketball. At the end of her coaching career she held a record of 1098-208, but one of her greater successes was that her program had a 100% graduation rate. She produced great athletes as well as great minds and leaders to society.

Consistency: Even after the retirement of Pat Summitt, because of the consistency displayed by the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers basketball team, the program  still has a reputation to be the ideal place to play college basketball.

There are many good coaches and good sports programs. To be considered a great coach, which is trusted by the entire sports world, requires the characteristics of the Eight Pillars of Trust. Pat Summitt exudes trust in leadership. Even now as she begins to battle Alzheimer’s, the sports world trusts that Pat will still work hard, fight hard and never compromise. 




Trust in Leadership, Trust in Sports, Building Trust, commitment, consistency, connection, contribution, character, Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee, Lady Vols Basketball, Pat Summitt Alzheimer’s

Want to Help Someone? Shut Up and Listen | Compassion

Ernesto Sirolli, Founder of the Sirolli Institute, shares with students why it is more important to listen than to give out one’s own ideas. People do not need to be patronized. Learn how to respond to people and become a servant to those you work with.

The Trust Edge gives tips for effective listening. Keep eye contact. Listen with your body. Practice patience. Empathize. Be present. Avoid answering the electornic interrupter. Hold one conversation at a time. Ernesto expands more on these effective listening tips in this video. 


Ernesto Sirolli, Sirolli Institute, Effectiveness, Effective listening, The Trust Edge, Patience

Armstrong Doping | Oh Lance…

Oh Lance…

How do we handle when we want to trust a hero but the evidence is stacked against them? We feel betrayed when those we trust most let us down.

Many of his followers are still standing by him even as he has abandoned his fight against continued allegations of cheating made by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). By doing this, he avoids arbitration, but will be stripped of his 7 Tour De France titles and has already lost millions of dollars in endorsements from Nike and Anheuser-Busch. He continues to deny ever breaking the anti-doping rules but the “seemingly insurmountable evidence”, which includes testimonies from 26 people, tells another story.

Because of his breach in trust, Armstrong not only lost endorsements, but grudgingly decided it was necessary to step down as chairman of the Livestrong cancer charity to avoid bringing any negative effects to the organization.

How far does the ripple effect spread from Armstrong’s decisions? The credibility of the organization he started, and has personal attachment to, may now also be brought into question. Will families benefitting from the Livestrong cancer charity suffer from this scandal? This goes to show how important trust is. From personal decisions we make that will directly affect only ourselves, to the ones that ultimately reach millions of people.

Lance Armstrong is not the first famous athlete to lose trust through scandal, and he won’t be the last. Nevertheless, it is hard to accept it when someone seemingly so trustworthy is found to be guilty of cheating. Armstrong was, and to some still is, a beacon of hope. The natural goodwill in people wants to believe someone like him who stands for such a worthy cause. However, for there to be legitimate trust, we must turn to the clarity pillar. We naturally trust what is clear and mistrust the ambiguous.

Ultimately, if he is truly guilty, Lance needs to be honest with the public. By doing this he may initially lose the trust of even those holding on to the hope that he is innocent, but ultimately, through clarity, he will begin rebuilding the trust that has been lost. It won’t be easy, but it is possible for Lance to regain trust.


The Trust Edge, Trust in Business, Lance Armstrong, clarity, Trust in Sports

Do You Trust the NFL? | Trust In Sports

Who do you think the position of the ball should have been awarded to? Should have it been ruled an interception or a touchdown?  

The NFL is apparently closer to reaching a deal with the original referees. The NFL has been using replacement referees from Division III colleges and high schools for the first three weeks of the season. The NFL’s decision to use replacement referees over experienced referees conflicts with the competency pillar. The NFL is trusted to put the best performance on the field including players and yes, referees. How can fans trust the NFL if the officiating of the game is subpar?

 During the Monday Night Football game between the Seahawks and the Packers, Seahawk’s Golden Tate and Packer’s M.D. Jennings both appeared to have caught the ball simultaneously in the end zone in the game’s final play. The replacement referees eventually ruled it a touchdown for Seattle and the Seahawks won the game because of the call.

Football, Monday Night Football,  Packers, Referee, Seahawks,  Trust, NFL, Trust in Sports, Sports, Trust in Leadership, Trust in Media


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