Avoid Hefty Contracts | Building Trust with Gen Y Series

Stay away from hefty long-term contracts. (9 of 9 in series)

Millennials are just as committed as boomers, but it looks a whole lot different. Whereas boomers and prior generations were committed to companies, Gen Y is committed to meaningful missions. They get passionate about social issues and think of organizations as platforms to carry out their purpose/mission. According to Marcus and Jane Buckingham, millennials are expected to have at least seven positions during their careers.

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Leadership and Foresight from the Greatest Leader I Know | Trusted Leadership

What a treat to enjoy Thanksgiving at the farm with family! Pond hockey, broom ball, games, pecan and pumpkin pie (I much prefer pie over cake any day), fellowship, gratefulness, and even some time cutting wood for the stove. It is so good to work together and play together. Most of my five siblings and the seventeen grandchildren were able to gather and stay at the farm (all but my sister’s family, who live in Kenya and teach at a university there). Dad is 84 years old now and Mom is close behind.  They are an example of intentional leadership.

On Saturday, Dad invited all of the farm families that rent land from him over to the house for food, fellowship and a “program”. The “program” was intentional. He built our well over a thousand acre farm from nothing, buying his first 80 acres while in college just after serving in the Korean War. Why did he bring together family and renters and have a  “program”? To introduce his kids to the renters, to encourage open communication, to transfer leadership, and to provide a peaceful thoughtful process for when he is not around anymore. Dad is still in great health, but he is wise. His wisdom to give a clear plan for succession planning will take a whole lot of stress out or our future. Each of the kids have clear responsibilities and roles. It was significant that in front of everyone he gave leadership to his fifth child, the brother just older than me to be the point person for farm operations. While we know Dad loves all of us, Loren is the best person for that job. This public declaration of who the farm point person is gave clarity and empowered Loren to take that role even though he is not the oldest child, which may be a more traditional approach for that responsibility.

Two leadership lessons: First, think ahead and act ahead. Secondly, while it is true that empowerment occurs when a person is given the resources needed for a given task, it is equally important to empower leaders by publicly giving them the leadership role necessary to take on responsibility and have others quickly follow. This is a form of “Transfer Trust” – Since people trust you as leader, and you trust a given person to lead, when you publicly give the leadership role, others will more quickly follow that individual so that you are no longer needed in that role.

Trust Tip Tuesday: Baldrige Performance Excellence Program | The Trust Edge

After President Obama addressed the glitches in the new health care system, the question we asked ourselves was: How? How can it be more effective? How can the Affordable Act and Obamacare be improved? The answer: Baldrige Performance Excellence Program

Years after the Industrial Revolution, leaders of America realized the need to focus on recognizing excellency of product – not quantity of product. One objective of the Malcolm Balridge National Quality Improvement Act of 1987 was/is to recognize top organizations for their quality of service, business strategies, and best business practices. This year’s recipients will be named next month – in healthcare, manufacturing, small business, etc.

You can use their processes to measure and improve your organization. AND, it’s one way American healthcare can be improved.



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Michael Hyatt’s Way of Making and Keeping Promises | The Trust Edge

It’s the little things! Make and keep your promises! It’s not the big goals that make the big difference. Rather, it’s all the little actions and decisions.

Trusting yourself begins by making goals and sticking to them. Michael Hyatt’s beginners guide is essential when creating effective and obtainable goals. 


The Beginner’s Guide to Goal Setting


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The One and Only Way to Rebuild Trust | The Trust Edge

Have you ever been in a situation where you have broken trust? What happens when you need to rebuild trust? How do you get it back? There is only one way to build and regain trust: make and keep your promises.

Several years ago I was talking to a CEO from the Netherlands and I asked him what he thought the biggest difference was between American and Dutch businessmen. His response was direct, but telling. He said, “In America, there is a bunch of lying apologizers.”

It might seem harsh, but he has a point. Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and Bernard Maydoff — these men have experienced personal or moral failures and offered public apologies. But do we trust them? That depends little on their apology, and much on their willingness to create tangible solutions to fix the problem.

The next step in a sincere apology is to make it right or solve the problem. Stand by the commitments that you have made to rebuild trust. Make promises that you can keep.

Trust is gained by consistent, truthful action over time. 

If you say you’re going to do things and don’t follow through, it may be the first reason why your trust was broken. It doesn’t matter if you’re Lance Armstrong, or BP, or the president of a small company. The one and only way to build and regain trust for yourself, or your organization, is to make and keep your promises. 

Here are a few ways to re-build trust and make sure your actions are lining up with your words:


Take responsibility for your actions. Acknowledge what really happened and that feelings are truly hurt.


Be patient and forgive. Recognize you have been forgiven by others and by God. Forgive yourself and understand that you are not perfect.

Evaluation and Accountability

Look closely at your actions and ask yourself if they line up with your words. If not, make the changes necessary to do so.

Ask a few people you respect — Am I the kind of person you can count on? Without being defensive, take their feedback to heart. Set up accountability for growth.

Don’t just apologize. Deliver results.

Next time you make a mistake (we all do), don’t just apologize. Offer tangible solutions to the problem, and follow through on those solutions, no matter what. Make small promises and keep them.



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Gallup Poll: Who Do You Trust More? The President or Congress | The Trust Edge

Americans Trust Obama Most on Economy

The Gallup Poll shows that Americans lack of trust and confidence in President Obama and his handle on the economy is now turning around as he now has a rating of 57%. What could be happening that is turning people’s views? Who do you trust more at the moment to handle the current situation of the economy? President Obama or Congress?


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Rachel Botsman: The Currency of the New Economy is Trust | The Trust Edge


Rachel Botsman writes and speaks on the power of collaboration and sharing through technology and its impact on trust in the world. Over time and through small actions trust can either be built or destroyed. Through technology, information will be gathered and a dashboard is formed that will share your reputation and level of trust. In her talk Botsman shares that everyone has the power to shape their reputation, and it all starts with the bottom line of trust. 


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John Kotter: Change Leadership vs. Change Management | The Trust Edge


“…Change leadership is just fundamentally different—it’s an engine. It’s more about urgency. It’s more about masses of people who want to make something happen. It’s more about big visions. It’s more about empowering lots and lots of people.

In business today the focus tends to stear towards change management, when in reality we need more people who will be change leaders. A change leader’s responsibility is to drive the vision, mission and values of a business and organization.Change leaders will be more willing to take risks, despite how scary it may be. John Kotter explains the signficiance of change leaders and how important it is we start focusing more on change leadership than managing change. 




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Do the Right Thing | Character

Character, does not come from reading a book or going to a conference. Character is being intentional and consistently working hard. In a world that is bent out of shape and lacking in trust, finding people who have a trustworthy character is hard to come by.

Building character comes down to asking yourself one simple question: Am I doing the right thing? Being honest over telling others what they want to hear; helping others in need instead of focusing on our own needs is what is necessary to be a leader with character.

Everyone wants to be liked, but being honest over being liked is more important. In the fall of 2012, Hurricane Sandy hammered the Eastern Seaboard days before the Presidential election. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a member of the GOP, had a difficult decision to make: Accept the help from his party’s opponent, President Obama? Or take a path that would agree with his party?

Christie chose to help the people of New Jersey and their needs instead of focusing on his party’s political needs and agenda. He even went as far as to praise President Obama in his response to Hurricane Sandy.  Christie’s focus was outside of his interests. He was more concerned about the needs of the citizens of New Jersey than offending his party or his 2013 re-election run for governor. This action by Christie boosted his ratings among the Democratic Party, but ultimately showed the people of New Jersey that he was not just a politician, but a Governor who cares about his people and can be trusted.

When you think of honesty and helping others in need who is the first person to come to mind? Chris Christie is only one example of a person whose character was authentic. The most recent Gallup poll lists the top 5 most trusted professions:

  1. Nurses
  2. Pharmacists
  3. Medical Doctors
  4. Engineers
  5. Dentists

Nurses, pharmacists, doctors, engineers, and dentists all take care of the people they serve. They assure healthiness and safety.  Chris Christie proved his character and trustworthiness by choosing what was right over what was easy. 


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Open Values Lead to Higher Character: QuikTrip | Company of the Month

Since 2003 QuikTrip has been listed in Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. QuikTrip is a company that creates a trusted environment by laying a foundation of shared values for over 7,000 employees. The successful convenience store chain, based out of Tulsa, OK, makes a point of getting people behind its unifying value, “Do the right thing for the employee and for the customer.” While it may seem simple this shared value is meaningful and has been a foundation of their notable culture of trust.

QuickTrip was consistently on Fortune’s Top 100 Places to Work For because of the character of its people. Every stakeholder in the organization is valued and considered. QuickTrip is known for its great service because employees have an expectation to be dependable and have a strong work ethic. These things create an environment where people work hard and have fun. In turn Quiktrip rewards its employees for their hard work with great pay, benefits and an endless amount of fountain drinks. QuickTrip contributes to the growth of their own employees as well as to the community through United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters and National Safe Place.

QuikTrip knows their values and makes them known to all their employees. When you know your values and make them known. You will enjoy a business climate rich in high character. 



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