Episode 14
Lisa Kimmel
Building Trust

Lisa is a global leader in Communications. She’s the managing director of Sector Specialty Agencies (SSAs), DJE Holdings and also oversees Edelman’s Canadian and Latin American operations. Lisa sits on Edelman’s Executive Leadership Team and has played a leadership role in Edelman’s Trust Barometer initiative. In this episode we discuss the difference between trust and reputation, the true meaning of taking responsibility as a leader and much more.

Reputation vs. Trust

Reputation is past tense. Trust stems from a belief in the future and is predictive in nature. Trust is what enables organisations and leaders to have more meaningful relationships with stakeholders. There are four key elements of trust 1) Ability – is this company competent? 2) Integrity - is this company honest? 3) Dependability – does this company keep promises? 4) Purpose – does this company have a positive impact on society?

Take responsibility when things go wrong

When a mistake has been made, especially in a crisis, taking responsibility is essential. Leaders today need to be able to demonstrate vulnerability; we’re all human and we all make mistakes. After you take responsibility, be clear on steps being taken to address the damage and ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future.

Communicate directly with employees to build trust

It’s important to communicate directly with employees. Go on listening tours or coffee chats with employees and talk about how the company is performing. During wider company meetings, talk about what leadership is hearing; talk about issues that can or can’t be addressed and why.

Tangible impact is the antidote to greenwashing

Greenwashing refers to misleading claims that a company’s products or services have a positive impact when they don’t. It’s imperative to understand the most material impacts the company can make on the economy, environment and society. True commitment is about minimizing negative impacts and maximizing positive impacts. It’s important for leaders to deal with impacts in a holistic way, not just in their marketing. In other words, there needs to be tangible and real impact supporting any public claims made.