The Age of Trust: Part Two

The Age of Trust: Part Two

chris-sheppardsonOver the last few weeks, many have contributed their feedback and thoughts on how there is a return to traditional values both on a personal front and also for organizations. The first article focused on the importance of trust between individuals and also between employees and their leadership teams.


The former point seems to have been taken as a given – mainly according to your feedback, many are tired of the transactional sales approach – but the latter has generated the most discussion as many feel that it is of equal importance that organizations possess strong value sets that make them stand tall and that all those within leadership teams work to those values.

Interestingly, it has been noted that the leaders that have achieved forward progress over the last six years have generally been people of substance with strong values and that the weight on these leaders has been high as they have often had to quietly and gently change internal cultures and behaviourial traits at senior levels. One noted:

“It is easy to blame middle management but they only act badly when the senior players turn a blind eye and don’t take responsibility. You call this the Age of Trust. I call it the Age of Accountability.”

A number of CEOs have commented that their challenge over the last few years has been to get their house in order so that they could compete with a team that possessed strong values and were like minded.

In a world that is today genuinely transparent, it is important that organizations behave in a steady, consistent and true fashion with both customers and clients. This may sound obvious but it hasn’t always been the case. Clients, consumers, suppliers and employees are now seeking a high standard from those that lead organizations that they either work with or buy from. In this age, few have time for those that do not deliver on their word – whether this is a promise, a contractual term to a supplier or in service. Competition has increased and if you are not delivering as promised, there will be someone standing close by who will.

The net result is two fold:

  • Leaders and companies have worked hard to ensure they possess true and strong cultures that will give firm foundations to be successful.
  • There is a greater accountability across leadership teams again. All roles have to deliver on their remit or change will follow. The net result is that we are seeing those disciplines that have traditionally sat one step removed from the axis of CEO – MD – FD – OD – SD equal the achievements of those in this group – whether this is HR, Purchasing or Marketing. In fact, some of these disciplines are developing and innovating at speed as they have challenged to do so.

When one looks back at this era, there will be a number of CEOs and MDs that may have moved on but their achievements will be seen in a true light as they have given their organizations strong cultures that can be grown. The margin of error today is so low one should not underestimate the importance of a true culture as it can be lost so quickly. This is an exciting era as it is an Age of Trust and Genuineness in business. As one CEO told his team a few years ago:

“We are going to face a rocky time and I will not get you all through but – if you support what I am asking – I promise that whatever happens, together we will leave a business that will do well because of our work now. I also promise you that if we do not change and try to mislead our clients and employees, we will all be forgotten and rightly so. Why? Because the people you will remember at the end of your career are the ones that have strong conviction and strong values that make them ones to remember.”

On the 1st October, EP is hosting a Leadership Conference entitled “New Leaders, Traditional Values” in partnership with HIT Scotland and ehotelier.

For more information on EP and the different campaigns we are running, please contact Nicole Thompson

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