As business leaders meet for their annual World Economic Forum
in Davos this week, the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer
revealed that only 18 percent of the public expects them to tell the truth. (Government leaders scored lower, at 13 percent.) In their survey of 30,000 people worldwide, the company says the lack of confidence in leaders comes from scandals, with examples as recent as cyclist Lance Armstrong
With social media ubiquitous and a camera on every phone, information spreads very rapidly. Technology now forces business transparency, since very little can be hidden for a long period of time. Small-business leaders need to be truthful and authentic with their employees, customers and vendors. Deliver bad news as quickly as possible once the impact of the situation is known. Apologize if appropriate and outline a course of action that will show loyalty to the mission of the company. Finally, keep all the commitments of the outlined action.
Who do you trust? How do you earn trust from your team?
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