I recently read an excerpt from Lee Iacocca’s most recent book, Where Have All The Leaders Gone? It is clear that he is not happy about the current condition of the U.S. economy and with our foreign affairs. Iacocca says that we should be outraged and screaming bloody murder for the mess we are in and that “holding the course” will produce a fate similar to the Titanic. I’ve got to admit, he has a point! Getting mad is a heck of a lot better than despair because anger moves us to take action, change things and get better results. The result of the last decade is this: The vast majority of Americans have lost TRUST in the leadership of this country, in all sectors, which is not a good thing.

A year before Iaccoca’s book, Steven M. R. Covey wrote a book called The Speed of Trust, The One Thing That Changes Everything. I have referred to it in a past e-zine and will share some more of it with you as it couldn’t be more relevant for these challenging times. Covey identifies thirteen key behaviors that build trust in any type of relationship. These behaviors are especially relevant for leaders to build and maintain trust within their organizations. I’ll reveal the first seven here and the other six in the next issue. No need to overload our senses, right? Here they are:

1. Talk Straight- Be honest. Tell the truth. Let people know where you stand. Don’t be a spin-doctor
2. Demonstrate respect- Genuinely care for others and show it. You can’t fake caring. Treat everyone with respect.
3. Create transparency- Tell the truth in a way people can verify. Be a “what you see is what you get” type of person.
4. Right wrongs- Don’t cover things up. Apologize quickly. Make restitution where possible.
5. Show loyalty - Give credit freely. Speak about people as if they were present. Don’t disclose others’ private information.
6. Deliver Results- Establish a track record of results(hint: great for resumes!)Don’t overpromise and underdeliver. No excuses.
7. Get better- Continuously improve. Be a constant learner. Don’t assume today’s knowledge and skills will be sufficient for tomorrow’s challenges.

Here’s a suggestion for you if you are serious about garnering trust with others. It is a great way for you to track and measure your success. Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 on these first seven trust tips. If you are feeling especially brave, ask someone you TRUST to do the same for you. You now have a benchmark with which to start. Now write out one or two specific actions you will take to improve in each area. 2009 is still young, so you can do this exercise quarterly and watch how building trust improves your relationships, your efficiency and your stress level. Covey also proves with strong research and facts how trust greatly improves your bottom lines. What is that worth to you?

Inspiring quotes...

“The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.” –Rupert Murdoch, Chairman & CEO, News Corporation

“I am still learning. That is an important mark of a good leader…to know you don’t know it all and never will.” – Anne Mulcahy, Chairman & CEO, Xerox

“Left untended, knowledge and skills, like all assets, depreciate in value—surprisingly quickly.”- David Maister, Business author

Inspiring Tidbits on Corporate Trust...

Michael Dell, Chairman, and Kevin Rollins, President & CEO, have arranged their working area so that there is only a clear glass wall between them and their desks face each other. They even took the doors off the hinges so they could talk freely at all times. This became a great symbol of trust at Dell.

Nordstrom’s policy manual consists of only one two-sided card as opposed to pages and pages of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo. The front of the card welcomes the employee, mentions Nordstrom’s number one goal of providing outstanding customer service and reaffirms the company’s confidence in the employee in achieving that goal as well as their personal goals. The other side of the card stated their only rule: Use good judgment in all situations and ask any question at any time.

Chris Williams is a CTA certified Executive Coach with Inspirational Consulting & Coaching, LLC. Chris works with high-achieving executives, managers, entrepreneurs and professionals in achieving extraordinary results for their companies and themselves. He transforms managers into leaders and leaders into legends! To schedule your complimentary 30-minute coaching session, call Chris at (928) 284-1509 or email him at chris@azhospitalitycoach.com

Web: http://www.azhospitalitycoach.com

Author's Bio: 

Chris has thirty years of business management experience in the hospitality, service and tourism industries. After a successful career working in both corporate America and on Main Street, Chris decided to pursue his dream of inspiring others to be all they can be. He is now and executive leadership coach, consultant, author and speaker. Chris's passion is to work with executives, entreprenuers and professionals in creating powerful visions for their companies along with a smart action plan to make them more sustainable and profitable. Chris is an advocate for values driven leadership and believes it is the key to business and personal success.

Chris lives in rural Arizona with his wife and two young daughters. When he is not coaching, writing and speaking, he enjoys spending quality time with his family, volunteering in his church and community, reading leadership books and articles, cooking, yoga, jogging, gardening and golf a couple of times a year.