Hi everybody, and welcome to an addition of Shed Talks that I am so excited about it. So I'm sharing the shared today with, Gosh, she try saying that in a hurry and sharing the show today with three colleagues who I am so excited to talk to you, but also really excited to introduce to each other because it turns out we will trust geeks and, you know, we've all got different experiences with trust. And I think between as we should hopefully have an interesting conversation, but particularly in the light of the current crisis and leadership. I think the topic of trust is coming even more to the forefront than it already was. So we didn't name this talk. We should talk about Trust and, and this is a bit of an NGO. Particularly for myself, Pete and Keith, who have been talking about just together for some time now, so I'm sure some of that will come out as we go through this, this talk.
So if I just kick off by explaining where my fascination with with trust and leadership started to say, I was lucky enough to attributes the chemist a chunk of time ago now, but I was at about eight years. And one of the roles that I did while I was there, I was working with boots trying to improve the relationship with our key suppliers. And in particular, I was working with Boots L'Oreal Procter and Gamble, and we just couldn't get these relationships to work. So essentially I ran a project looking at what the barrier walls. And not surprisingly that there were trust things that needed to be worked on at the same time, I was doing an MBA. So I, I use the NBA dissertation as an opportunity to get into looking at trust and how to really enable fantastic business, collaboration, business, leadership, etcetera, through the topic of trust. And it's really stayed with me ever since then. If I turn to page and if you want to explain your background page, So I didn't, well, I'll say it quickly, I've named Pete now for about 18 months or something like that Pete has recently.
Started a new venture team 20 30 He's also just written a report about trust which I'm sure he'll refer to that prior to that he spent many, many years Leading the Windsor Society of Leadership Fellows at Windsor Castle and saint George's Household and that's where I met Pete and inevitably in some of the conversations that trust was always a feature.
Thank you and the seminar, I say, it's great to be part of this. I think you're right about us being trust gates, and I thought to myself, why, has just been an obsession for so many years. And I think I've come at it from two very different angles.
On the first from the first angle, I think there's been something about my fascination with religion and the church that has led me to trust. because I think there's a spiritual dimension to trust for many of us. The sense that we believe in some way, we can't put into words. We are connected with each other, ultimately at least.
And I think our interests and trust is shorthand for us wanting to engage with other people as if we are part of them or they are part of us.
And having just said it like that. We know there's that mushy side to trust somebody. Oh, my god, that sounds really out there. And that's why somebody think trust is all about a week and fluffy and United Church in victory. But, that's the than the other bit, which is very different, has been my interests, and people are very successful, either in public life or in business and commerce.
And, I think having been involved in sort of national, state, and politics, my early twenties, and some of those people go to different leadership positions over as having been close to salmon, watch them in their roles.
I think, mostly most of the most successful leaders I've got tonight have been in in relationships with tightly knit groups of people around them, but they had exceptionally high levels of trust.
That convert into enormous tribal loyalty, Thirsts model of trusteeship, but it is a Hitrust model, leadership has got many dysfunctions. But, my point is, trust is deployed by some of the most significant leaders, in my view, just about every sector to great effect. So, I think if you want to understand leadership trust, as part of understanding some of those people, I think they give it away to freely on the whole.
I think part of The Trust Challenge is to they, I'm more interested in tough trust, then the provenance come back to that, I'm sure. I've heard of tough love, now we're going to have to trust exited, so if I tend to, John just to do an introduction. So I met John, I think it was December last year when we ended up at a roundtable event with the times that content and we were talking about leadership and, and you were there, along with a couple of other experts and some fellow chief executives. And I was absolutely fascinated when you started talking, particularly because you've, you've left trust so much. You've written an entire book about it, but also set up a not for-profit organization to help build Hitrust teams and antitrust environments. So, so, I mean, I, you know, I, straight away, was wanting to know more about that, and we've, we've caught up several times since then. But do you wanna give us a bit more background to that, John? Yeah, thanks, Sarah. Great to be in the, in the shed with the with the trust cakes. That's that's something I'm really enjoying today. Do you?
So, yeah, my fascination with, with trust. I mean, I haven't had a corporate career. But like you said, you mentioned you worked at boot, so I came through a fairly typical corporate career. And in my last corporate role, which now is 17 years ago, I was International Managing Director in us in the FTSE 100 company, which shall remain nameless, for the purpose of this, this introduction. But I bumped into my group Chief Executive one morning on the sixth floor of the HQ in London. And to share with them what I thought was some good news.
The day before we close the biggest deal that we'd ever closed in, my sector, £32 million outsourcing do, to which I was confronted with the ... You think that's good to you.
And I decided to stand my ground, and I said to my boss, Sir, yeah, I think it's great.
And at that point, a finger came out and went straight into my face, and I heard this voice, boom in in my is saying, You know, your problem, blakey.
I thought, now what I'm clearly going to be unveiled our lifetimes is, Not Department U two, F in nice.
And he walked off, and I was stood there in the 21st Century corridor or leadership thinking.
My biggest problem is I'm too F and nice.
And I'm thinking to have been nice for what you know. And, and it was that moment of choice, really, that I felt I had, wasn't going to stand for trust. I wasn't going to stand for power. No. Well, so a world, did I want to be part of, and what sort of world did I want to be part of creating?
And I think that was that moment, I just thought, I have to make a stand for trust. You know, for people, people who are trusted, that that is a key to performance. As Pete alluded to. And it's also a way that you can look in the mirror, at the end of your career and say, I actually stood for something that was, that was worth it. When I was successful or not, at least I stood I made a stand around. something that I Feel passionate about and so that that was the spark really that the ignite at my my path with trust.
John, that's absolutely brilliant. And thank God you are two FA. Nice really that. I'm proud to be one as well. Yeah. So, um, and Keith, we obviously met as well, 3 and 3, the Windsor leadership circles and I used to work in in, in big corporate as well. I mean, Rolls Royce doesn't come much bigger in terms of corporate, and I know that you had to develop a lot of trust there because you were implementing agile methodology, which is obviously massively reliant on on trust and empowerment, et cetera, et cetera. But, but now you've set up your own business again to advise businesses on Trust took us through that journey. And what made you decide to set up project for learning labs.
Yeah, Interesting question. And it's a privilege to be on the call today and privilege to be in your virtual sheds are. Always welcome, Keith. Thank you, I appreciate that.
Yeah. I guess some, my sort of trust, Geekiness, goes back a while actually.
It goes back to the end of the last century, with my, my first leadership role, where I was in Rolls Royce as a large corporates and I sort of follow that traditional pathway be part of the team. And then as a first leadership role, be a team leader in the team you're a part of.
And it was then that trust sort of move from a sort of abstract concept in my mind to something quite interesting in that it felt like overnight, I turned from one of us to one of them.
As I made that transition, I thought that's a bit weird, because, because I haven't changed the way I think, and why belief hasn't changed. But this perception of mass. And that first row.
Part of the reason I took it was for stretch, but also the fact that we had the opportunity to create something new and build something which really flex my boat.
And, as it happened, as time developed, we ended up closing the department, and I ended up making people redundant at my first leadership role, including myself. And so, I thought, OK, that's quite a journey, but in my journey, as a leader, that was fantastic. I've got Trust Mailed. I know all about this now.
I took my second row, like I got this job, where I was leading a team, where I didn't know what they did, and more importantly, they knew that I didn't know what they did. And that's sort of presented, told new challenge.
And it was about 2 or 3 weeks into that role where they said, We think you've been appointed to close this time.
So sort of my interest in Geekiness, Entrust, sort of sprang from my early experiences, or leadership, I guess. And that's continued through to the present day in and off the back of odysseys in deploying Agile in the large corporate organization. I decided to branch out on my own and see if I could help others learn from my experience.
So, that's why I'm here. And K So we were, there are some similarities when we listen to our journeys. Sorry to use that phrase, but I think we have all kind of pick something up in the corporate world or the equivalent of the corporate world and realized there was something there that spark the imagination and kept it going. What's going on in Wells at the moment, is clearly taking this to a whole new level. So you would have seen the the Edelman Trust Barometer stats pre covert and talking about the fact that chief execs have about 39% trust rating. I know there's a massive generalizations. But, interestingly, Trustin employers was running at about 77%, which was significantly higher than trusting virtually every other institution in the country, including politicians, church, everything else. So, my, my question is, Well, firstly, is, isn't that interesting? What role do you think leadership, business leadership needs to play to establish and build trust, given quite a solid foundation?
But probably more importantly, those figures were pre covert If the survey was done again now, where, where do you think trust is gone in the last few months, and particularly, trust in business leadership?
Somebody kick us off.
..., like, go with that. Yeah, go for it. Go for it.
Is intriguing question to be asked Sarah, because Adelman actually produced a, an updated report in May. They did a spring update to that annual Barometer that they do that comes out in January. So they did one that was in the middle of the pandemic.
And one of the questions they asked was, do you believe the following leaders are doing an outstanding job in managing the crisis, and they have no options between government leaders, journalists, CEOs, scientists?
And interestingly, the scientists scored the highest, 53%, thought that, scientists were doing an outstanding job, at government leaders, 45%, journalists, 31% thought they were doing an outstanding job, and only 29%, though, the CEOs were doing an outstanding job backwards, in a very short space of time, as well. Yes, I can see your sort of surprise on that. It was a surprise to me as well.
But the way it was positioned when I listened to the sort of briefing of that report.
Was that there was a suggestion that it was a moment of reckoning for business. Because there's been a lot of talk in business about stakeholder capitalism. And, you know, moving on from the, what I would call the industrial model, profit driven model. But I think there's a moment of reckoning going on around people, saying, they, just talking the talk. Are they actually really going to walk the walk and in the crisis in particular?
How is business weighing up? The balance between profit people, planet, you know, and the various different stakeholder agendas? So I think it is a time of reckoning for CEOs. And we gotta be very, very careful, I think, with the choices that we make in this time because I think that will be retrospective judgement around that. But all leaders, and for all brands. So it is, I think, a very sensitive moment in the in the thrust equation that Thanks, John, You And I met, didn't we, just before locked down, it's probably early March, something like that. And I remember your words and ungentlemanly, they influence how I behaved over the next few weeks.
Because you said to me this is a moment of truth with what was about to happen. And that really, really resonated with me. I do think it's a moment of truth, but, but how interesting that that went backwards so quickly. So what's your views, Pete?
Well, I'm always a bit hesitant about general surveys, how people feel about Chief Executives. Because to an extent, that reflects, I think, how we thought about the economic system as a whole. And I think we all feel, our economic system, as a whole, is in fundamental crisis. We're not sure what would be better, but our system is failing us big time. That has not been the sharing of wealth that we thought would happen through globalization and so we're now dealing with something with the theory, the expectation has bonds, and also in the midst of a pandemic, it has been scary as **** for everyone.
What struck me for the work we've done with you and some of your Shakespeare Alternate team, Sarah. And a number of other CEOs, has been, I think, in some, in a number of organizations, where we've worked very closely with staff at different levels.
They have felt there's been a leveling dimension to the responses to cope with that. It's actually brought them closer to their top team. If suppose now, you know, most people are meeting with the CEO, there up in the boardroom or the CEO's office and the Sea as the head of the table, or on a screen level playing field with each. But I'm sure. Yeah, yeah, you're the Shed. Postage Stamp, and someone new joins. It moves around the screen. There's no national ...
and the whole many organizations have, stories, see, us talk to more people, more, regulate in, more listening mode, and also being riskier in messaging with their people across the organization. And really, putting themselves out there and a lot of fun. But, I think there are many good things to be told about, the business side. I think the, It's a huge problem we have is on the public side, which You might want to come on in a minute, because I think this has been a very different experience that which I think is important for the wider discussion around for us.
Yeah, I agree. Keith, what's what's your views on this? Yeah. I think it's, it's probably helpful to differentiate between the people who know us and the people who perceive as, you know. So, Pete talked about the connection CEOs with our leadership team and the people in their organization that created that. And then surveys are driven by gross perceptions, which may reflect reality or may not. And it's probably never been a more sensitive time to present for marketing and branding and positioning. And, as John said, it's a moment of truth, and it's, it's, it's not a moment in which when that's already going to be judged right now. But our actions will be judged where the benefit of hindsight in the future.
So I think this idea of trust, I think the concept of it is different when we're talking about personal connections relative to perceptions from from others who don't know us.
We've all alluded to the fact that it matters enormously at the moment, But without making misplacing obvious, why does it matter enormously at the moment.
Because of the personal dimension, because I think volume from what Keith has just said. I think certain brands have built trust. So as a kid I used the British Airways was absolutely the best. We've seen over a whole number of years, the crushing and the destruction of that brand. and in many people's eyes and this whole number of major global brands. I think that's how, I think and interpersonal relationships with certain people, when we get to know them, We see the real then, it made me see the warts and the mistakes. I think it'd be fill their straight with us and we know where we stand with them. That means the world.
And in a time of crisis, thinking, I have what they say, They might be a bit grumpy a little bit, you know, short, tempered or difficult. But actually they're straight, they're doing the best that can, did that the real deal. We want those leaders, we trust those people. Is that personal connection and everything that counts more than at any time in any process?
John, do you have a view on why it matters even more, building? What piece it?
Yeah. I think, again, just echoing the same theme, maybe using slightly different language.
But I think psychological safety is something that's talked a lot about, you know, in relation to trust that the highest performing teams are those where there is that psychological safety. And that's, that's really an outcome of trust.
And, I think, if we're in, if we're living in unsafe times and if there is that level of vulnerability that people are feeling around, either health, or, or finances, or even just the future of work, you know, and where is it all going. So, there is that heightened vulnerability.
And, therefore, I think people are seeking safety. And, they, they seek it physically, we, you know. We put face masks on, and we have social distance in, and we, so we have a response in terms of the physical safety agenda. I think trust is, part of the response to feed people feel is psychologically unsafe, and therefore, brands that stand for trust leaders, that Stanford Trust will attract people. Because there'll be a sense of a zone of safety, if you like. Around them. Which, which, I think is going to be increasingly powerful as a, as an attractive of clients and talent.
You find in this with your client's case when you, when you're talking to your clients now in the post, or still during Kovats scenario. Is, is this something that is coming up their agenda?
Yeah, definitely. I mean, you know, external events of mates clients feel vulnerable, you know, and really critically evaluate.
Have they were and how they're operating today and how they need to operate in the future. And clearly there's so much uncertainty.
Complexity, ambiguity, volatility around that it's really difficult to plot a course for the future.
So, so, as leaders, how do we give our teams, safety, or a sense of safety, when there's so much uncertainty around? And we've certainly seen with a number of clients, that they're changing how they operate that, changing how they engage people, and potentially they're looking to develop in different directions as they sort of start to think about how developed, might look in 12 months, two years, five years, 10 years from now.
Yeah, interesting times something that's really resonated with me is this need for certainty. Of course, there's an irony here, if we go too far, trying to create certainty for people. And we say things that we can't promise that we can't make true. All we've done is create a false sense of certainty for a short period of time, which will then breech Trust going forward. So so for me it felt like a really delicate balancing act between being really honest with people, but also trying to give a little bit of certainty or a little bit of choice or a little bit of control back as well. But within a kind of an envelope of being incredibly honest and open about what's going on.
So we would have all had trust models. I mean, some of us have written books on it as well, and things that we've, we've relied on over the years, in terms of the concepts, or the principles behind trust, or the other things we've always gone to. Am I trying to create trust, has the crisis made you, evaluate Any of the things that you, you thought was certain?
Or have that being things within that they've really amplified view that say if you really trying to create trust this, this is what you would now focus on, Peter, you gotta. Yeah. I'd love to try a thought on that, and thinking hard about this, especially the last few weeks, as has been done this project together, And I think there's something it links in with your point about certainty, I want to make it a control, rather than substance.
Because I think nearly every lead Reiner who's successful leader is a bit of a control freak. I think, you know, you all we all need to be control freaks to a significant degree to to stay at any organization through amazingly choppy waters and and and and we're in a situation. The moment Lockdown happened, everyone thought, Oh, my God, I've lost complete, controlled in a way I never thought would be possible in my life. The control freak has a complete nervous breakdown on day one, and yet remarkably, the world was still inhale data. And even more remarkable when people thought, oh, it's going to be a nightmare. Some teams, you went to complete homework, and having never became more productive. But to each other, more than I've ever done before, and Vito countless stories, if some people who've been very broking in behaviors that I can't do that, that's not my job. I can't do that. Said, OK. It's a crisis. I'll take that on. I'll make it work and all sorts of things begun to flow at a time of real crisis and uncertainty, and loss of control.
I think now whatever happens, we know Kevin will be here to some degree for yes, B That might be another variation at any stage in the future, in our lives. So, so this is now part of the new reality than you permanence is that that that, that uncertainty lost control will always be there quite close to any leaders thinking mm, and, but I think the point is now, every leader will have some part of their life that is digital, as a digital leader, beginning to see the whole decision making process can change.
Because of any word digitally, you can let decisions evolve, more gratiot the page, you can have a bite sized chunk model of decision making. You can say, What's wrong with that? Let's think about that, but I'll come back to in three days time and look at how it moves on. I think that can be able evolution, in decision making.
It reassures people more and takes them with us, more women, taking risky decisions.
Because one of the problems in many organizations in their traditional meeting, the board, overnight at my site for about 30 years was being bored or late days, board retreats because some people on board love a big decision for the five year plan and the overnight retreat.
Back up the raunch, the CEO has a whole number of people who are reflectors who go Panicky.
You have a hairy canary when the board has changed the world overnight and they've got to have a whole new operating model. This new digital leadership model, you shouldn't have to have that. You can etch into difficult zones. Take your anxious people with you, Try it out a bit more. Go deeper into the water.
I think the leadership model can evolve significantly as we combine digital with physical.
And Keith. That's starting to sound remarkably like Agile to me. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I thought maybe maybe I've infected PetSmart greatness Yeah. Yeah. It's It's not purely the digital. It's the speed of feedback, And I think that the digital means, I guess, the peaks talking about is the speed of connection than the speed at which we can.
Convene a meeting, convened a discussion, then we can pick it up, think about it, put it down, And we have another thing. That's really important.
I also think the trick becomes, what moving away from these long term goals, where, this is our five year vision, and therefore, we're going to have all of these activities lined up. And if we do this, then we get this outcome. Then we'll do that, that will do that. And the world just isn't like that. So, so I think those, those companies that thrive take that long term goal. And then break it down into, what does that mean we need to do now?
And how will we know that it's the desired outcome?
And, aligning those actions with the speed of feedback, that tells us whether ways, got, what we expect it to get or not, adapt our course accordingly. I think those organizations that balance that, this is our direction of travel.
But this is what we need to do right now, and if that works, great, and if it doesn't work, try something else. How trust plays. A role in that is to do with evolution, is it to do with empowerment? Is it to do with the lack of, as Pete said, letting go of control? Having to trust the teams more at the coalface, Is that where the connection is? I think there's different things at different levels. So, so there's definitely an element of trust. If you're, if you're a board member, and you're looking for your teams to execute strategy, whatever that means these days. Then, there's a trust element there, isn't there? You know, do you understand the direction of travel to have the means to achieve what we're trying to achieve? Requires trust.
But, I'm also struck by what you said earlier, Sarah, around this. uncertainty. And making promises and looking to introduce clarity where the world's volatile, and uncertain.
And so, I think humility becomes really important. None of us know all of the answers we just take in information and then we try and make the best decision to take action that we can in the moment.
And, I think it becomes really important to reflect that we may be wrong we don't know there are no certainties. That's do something that's learned, that's changed.
And that, for me, is one of the key elements of trust, been able to show that, and been able to encourage and others, is a huge amount of openness, implied in that to explain to people what you're thinking. And this idea that we don't have all the answers. I'd be grateful to have any, actually. Just kind of human beings doing our best and this is something that I've been saying to my guys for awhile. I also spent a lot more time asking them, France's actually, because I think this is a great time to do that and to kind of reverse that a little bit and reverse that, that flow of ideas and information. But, John, if you are, here's the acid question. If you are writing your book, now, would you still write it with the same nine pillars or do you think he would be inclined to give a different emphasis? May be always there's something missing. What's, what's really striking you at the moment.
Well, the second edition, I finished the second edition of updates in the second edition of the boat in the first week and locked down. So I haven't helped me, in fact, if I got it wrong, because the the ink is dry on it now, So but I think, I think one of the reasons I wanted to put myself in the classroom with trust and to research trust Aston business school was because as a coach, I've been talking about trust a lot. And as we all are, I'm passionate about it. But when people said to me, How do I do trust, you know, I believe in that I'm passionate about it, but how do I do it? I didn't really have a scientifically based answer to that question. I could talk about my experience, other people's experience. But I think the value of research is that you can generate something that hopefully, is robust over a period of time. And, and, and resilience, through two different circumstances. The nine Habits to Trust, which is the model that came out of my research, is one that we've been working with now with a lot of different teams in this crisis.
And what I notice is that there is some tension between those habits, and those habits, some habits are shouting for more attention at the moment than others.
So, if I give you some examples, No three habits of ability, so I took about three habits of ability. three habits of integrity, and three habits of benevolence if we looked at the habits of ability we where we wanted to have its there is deliver.
Know that it has to be trusted leaders, we need to deliver.
And I think the conversation that case and Pete, I've just been having there about the agility of our delivery happen, needs to go to another level in, in, in response to this crisis.
So, I'm definitely seen a different attention to, how do we deliver and very consistently, what Keith and P of the insane there about, you know, 12 week sprints rather than three global domination sort of plans, so that that will be something I would pull out, I suppose, from the areas of ability. In terms of, the three habits of integrity. The honest, Be open, Be humble to Keith talked about being humble, and I think a crisis is, inevitably humbling to us and, and, and therefore, there's been, I think, more more talk about that habit the other one. Is that, be honest.
Happy, I think, Sarah, you mentioned, know, that, there's a lot of difficult decisions to be made, a lot of dilemmas to confront and, I'm reminded about Jim Collins phrase about, you know, come from the brutal facts. I think at the moment leaders are challenged to be brutally honest about the facts because, you know, if we tried to sugarcoat it all just, because we want to give people what they want to hear is. As you said, people are too savvy there to sort of experienced this, to be to be caught up in any spent.
And then in the areas of Benevolence maybe just pick one out there. three. Habits of benevolence would be evangelize. The brave be kind.
And evangelize is an interesting word. Sometimes you have to spend a bit longer. Explaining that. But evangelize effect is about, partly about sharing the good news and having this vision and loving what you do and that sense of purpose, but evangelists are also very resilient.
Evangelists don't know when they're knocked down. They don't know how not to get back up again. And I think resilience is something that we're all going to have to demonstrate as we go through this.
The stages of this crisis It's gonna be a long, long races, as Pete alluded to, and I think the habit of evangelism and being great, being resilient and bouncing back is going to be something that will have to show to keep the trust of the people that were leader.
Great. Great. Thank you.
Pete's touched on this already, but we are now moving into a world permanently, where part of our leadership bone is going to be digital. So, if, if I talk about my business, but I think it's probably fair to say Pete. This was true for all of the businesses that were involved in your recent research project. We were expecting to move to a more blended model, where some of the time when we'll be working from home and carrying on trying to run the business, like we are here in our little neat squares, and other times will be in offices collaborating with each other. So we're moving to a very different phase and a huge amount of our communication as leaders is going to be in these little square boxes, making videos or having meetings, virtually. What is it you think leaders need to do more of in this virtual world, especially if they're trying to develop trust and if we want to get back from that 29% is that figure in May one? What is it with the catapult that back into a decent level of trust with leaders, particularly in a virtual world?
one thought that maybe on audio only the pandemic I think a crisis plays well to those very high energy needs. I think of yourselves. There is an example of a very high energy. I'm exhausted. Pete. And I do think a lot of CEOs went into this as a sprint.
Yeah. And I think becoming a marathon. And now you're naked sera, sera, absolutely. around. And quite a few people are experiencing not just Zoom exhaustion, but, crisis exhaustion. Yeah. Yeah. And also, remember, and I'm so struck by still by a number of people who are, Still, people will say that have not been out of their front door since March.
I know some people, probably senior positions, who absolutely, have not gone anywhere. Yeah, Well, yeah, But, but, but, but but I think people will let you have not gone beyond the front door and you have all sorts of anxieties, which are quite profound. Love is associated with it. And so I think the period of time, we need to be very supportive of each other in managing in different ways.
So, I think there's something about it, this stage of Tea Party leadership is to say to people if you got to fear.
Which is real view, then share it say: Don't oscillate.
Come and be pissy with someone about a corporate issue about a performance issue. And each state is because you're fearful, say you're fearful and will only for irrespective but we need to get it out that. Yes, this is what I think teams also important. I think to many organizations in time of crisis go corporate, like, big. The CEO or the People Director will talk to every member of the organization about something. And she wants, you say, Look, Discusses and your team, not just your line manager with your team because they're your support group. You'll get it out there and find your way as a team to help each other through this protracted period. And you think that the virtual world is, is helping or hindering those kind of honest conversations.
I think the problem with the virtual world is people who want to hide, find it, slightly, easier to hide, Munro, on a resume or teams call, the member in the same room.
So I think we have the responsibility when people aren't being fully transparent with us to say, I think Seth was talking to say, Sarah.
I think it's something more you need to tell me about why you say you might not be backing up until January.
You might have a right not to be there, but it's a big issue for us and your team. So help us understand why use of Tony back when they can be doing the public transport struggle every morning, and putting our milestone at all.
So just to say to people, have that discussion as a confidential of wrinkle team discussion, but habits have it, and we need you to have it. Because what I really do think is an issue is we've all been traumatized in different ways. And trauma, as we know it goes on for years. Yes, I mean, part of my work over somebody has been working with with boards and exec teams when they've lost, but there's been the resignation of a CEO or a trust issue. Most amazing about the trauma after. Some people feel that so keenly, they've always got physical reaction to it that you can see it in the other people. They just go across the surface. They've always pass them by, ourselves has gone, well, what the **** was I didn't like them anyway Onto the business. So the all we are very differently. And I think a lead is going to say, we're all in different places on this. Each one needs to be OK, don't look for one common place to be there will never be a commonplace. And if he can accept that difference in that truth, I think that's a key movement forward.
Yeah. Thank you, How, Keith, How are you working with your clients in a virtual world, as it is in enabling you to build trust? Particularly with new clients, in the same way, you would, if you know the opposite, PEAT talks about board retreats? You know, you all in the same room. You're staying overnight in a safe environment. It's very, very different, feel, isn't it, is it still working? It's surprisingly effective. I think, if you'd asked me three months ago, I would have said it's gonna be so difficult to build any sort of social cohesion.
Connection or reciprocity, you know that you do this for me. I'll do that for you. That stuff's been surprisingly straightforward.
During Lockdown I've been coaching, a team, a team of four people based in Sweden that I've met once briefly, and we've developed this sort of special bond.
If you like that, I could never have imagined at the start and, and I've been coaching them to deliver training and to coach others, and it's just been, it's been amazing or I've loved it. But, it's, it's not so, enable some things, but it's not brilliant for other things. So, I think, one of the things Pete talked about was was transparency and visibility. I think we can have the illusion of transparency and we're all in our postage stamp, or our little box, and we're all seeing each other.
I think we need to do more than obeys to stop them.
So, transparency of results, transparency, or failings, transparency of thinking, transparency of behaviors, I think, as leaders, we need to work more on that digitally, because it's not a gift.
The other thing that I learned about developing trust is that your eyes can deceive you.
So we like to develop workshops where we get clients together and work to Agree an approach in a way, forward and thrashing zone. You can do those things virtually and you can you can genuinely believe that you're looking people in the eye and the reciprocating, but they're really not. As you're looking into your screen is, there's a delay. You think the normal cues and facial tells and stuff. You think that's all normal, but it's absolutely no.
So, yeah, things are different.
But the overall I would say it's positive and those that exploit the positives and a mindful of the drawbacks, something and prosper, so if I, if I broaden this out a bit. A bit, john, both in terms of the virtual world, but the post. ..., although, like I say, I hesitate to use the word post caveat. I don't think there's any such thing. I think it's very competitive edge, but how does this work, building trust again across 5. 5 generations, you know, we have such a diverse workforce now. Don't wait, And if you look why dive into society. Such massive polarization starting to develop, how can lead to create trust across such a wide, diverse range of people with different needs, different experience. Yeah.
Yeah, I think I think part of the humbling part of this is to realize that we're all sort of White balance when it comes to this. You know, we've lived in a world of power and authority. Most of us have been cheated a mentor and condition in a world where where power and authority, you know, did all that for this. But as that, as that gets sort of superseded.
And as it falls away, I think we're all going to have to become more adept at this, at building trust from first principles. You know that that sense of entitlement that trust comes with the job title.
It will go, and we're all gonna have to earn this on a daily basis.
And I think that means we will all need to be much more intentional, but typically, particularly in a virtual environment, you know, we can't rely upon the social nuances.
Even the handshake, which is the oldest symbol of trust that we know, has gone. Now, that doesn't mean to say, we can't still build trust virtually. It just means to say, we have to replace the handshake with something new, and therefore, we have to be intentional about that. We have to, we have to design it. We can't allow, we can't rely on it, but just to peer into our collective social norms.
Now, I, as a litte, as a sort of, someone who's passionate about leadership and trust, I think that's tremendously exciting. Agenda, an opportunity that, that, that forward thinking leaders and brands will get to work on that, and what they'll do. They'll get to work on a psychological level, but they'll also marry it with technology that's going to move an amazing pace. I mean, you think, how much investment is going to go into these platforms now Compare. You know, so that the combination of the technology getting better and better. Not getting psychologically more skillful and at that intentional trust for creation.
I think that promises a very rich virtual world over time. But I suppose we're all going to be a bit brave to, to where the white belt, you know, into, into to accept that.
We're not immediate just gonna wake up tomorrow MB wizards at that. You know, we're all going to have to learn a lot.
And it's those that are willing to put themselves into that learning mode, I think will inherit the Root will reap the rewards of that in, you know, 2, 3 years time. Yeah, Thanks, John. If I may, I'm going to turn this on its head slightly and it's something that Pete alluded to earlier. I think, Well, In fact. You alluded to two things, earlier, Pete.
Once one, you said, maybe we need to come back to talk about and politics, the public world, public leadership and inevitably, I don't think we could have this conversation without I can't imagine why you may be somebody. Maybe somebody has done a couple of things that that weren't entirely trustworthy and But there's that. But there's also you, you raised the point Pete about do we give our trust to freely Dewey?
What happens when we do, when there is a breakdown of trust, when there's a breach of trust, whether it's in the public world, all the commercial, professional world, and, you know, even the personal, Well, what happens with the breakdown of trust, and how do you get that back again? Pete, do you want to kick us off to thoughts? Yes, I mean, on the political will to keep this sponge short, I want to go back to that humanity.
The key theories and John on Benevolence and just think we all you, I think the beginning of this crisis: I think most of us thought, whatever our view of politics, we've got to invest faith in the government to lead us through it. Everyone involved in the public service. Everyone about this one team, one struggle temperature at the other side. And an All Pole, Dominic Cummings moment the change about. But nonetheless, I think is worth mentioning it because of the trust discussion here for two key reasons. Why the policy about by ministers never say you're sorry.
And I think, actually, that have trust, you must be able to say so and have the humility community to say you're sorry.
Secondly, and this is, I think, not uncommon, but this is dramatic photos vizier through essentially, we have our, our elected leader elected Prime Minister who, who forfeited the trust.
I think many of us in him because of a 1 to 1 relationship with the trust, and that relationship came first.
Is concerned Tabak, his mind.
His guy who's bat 10 was the obsessive parity, and that overrode all else and to an extent, there'll be say, We've got away with it. We're still run your show. Dominic Cummings is having a say now the white or refill, etcetera. Now, I think as far as individuals, we need to take a personal decision.
how much our values drive our behavior, whatever position right? now, I think for my view, any principal leader, when they ***** up or one of their key people screws up, must be able to say, You got that wrong.
You might not have to go a very humble pie and own it and tell us why.
Show some sensory loss. So, I think that must be that kind of trust goes. And especially if you think, again, without getting into too much detail on this, Because I suspect before, we could spend the next hour and a half talking about this alone. But I actually felt it got worse than by some of the excuses that came as I tried to explain the behavior. So, even if my trusted be knocked a bit, they knocked it much, much worse by the way, they behaved afterwards. So, I wholeheartedly agree with you about that. Apology and honesty point, I think it's tribal Sarah pit used earlier.
If, if you don't associated with that, tribes, and you think it makes it worse, if you do associated with the tribes and you think that's an entirely good justification for what happened, I think that does vary based on perspectives, which is part of the point around polarity. Ready. You can, we can look at the same things and think entirely diametric things. And I think the one of the challenges, I think for us as leaders for organizations, for people, generally for young people, is the ability to critically think the scale of critical thinking. Because there's so much information. Whether it's misinformation, whether it's tracked, whether this opinion assumption. Whether it's in the world. And digital media these days has the ability to target that information to people. Depending on the syntheses. Guess that, that that sort of stuff can polarize.
I think having the ability to put that into context, to say, What, where is this information from? What is the motivation of the person, or the people who have published it? and what effect does it having on me? and how does this sit with my values and beliefs? Baffle. What am I gonna do? With this thing?
The ability to take that underlies it, synthesize it and do something else with it I think is a really critical skill.
That is become going to become more critical as as information is packaged up and seductive ways to take the interesting point case.
By definition, do you think it means that we are increasingly going to need to share values and share common purpose in order to trust? I think people are going to need to know what we stand for, and go into continually look to test us to see whether we really do.
We mean, you know, that sort of thing, our actions are real priorities.
Yes, and I think, I was sort of struck by the quota, I think it might be cauvery or something. You know, we, we judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. Millimeter, hmm, hmm. Yeah, And it's just not enough.
I think the words and actions point at the moment, There's so much transparency and visibility of it, and because of as you say, the speed of information and everything As well, it will become so clear so quickly when people's words and actions don't don't match anymore. John, what do you, what's your take on this? Just listening to that, you know, and, you know, pizza, it's about the commons incident. And then, of course, we've had the Black Lives Matter, you, know, protest. And when you see pictures on your TV of statues being pulled down by sort of crowds that are overcome by a sense of passion.
You know, whether you agree with you, know, that there's the circumstances that are not but nevertheless you can't deny the strength of feeling that is out there on some of these topics.
And I think you know we've had quite a lot of wakeup calls now you know us as a leadership a leader if we if we want to use that phrase We've had quite a lot of wakeup calls, know we have the global financial crisis. We've we've had Donald Trump. You know we've had Brexit we've had statues now being pulled down in Bristol, whatever.
At what point are we going to Realize that you know, there is some of the thing here that needs addressing that is calling for cultural renewal and and Rather than believing That it's sort of an isolated tactical phenomenon. That, we actually recognize that, it's something deeper that is, that has shifted.
I think for as long as we don't acknowledge that and respond to it, we're going to keep stirring up some anger and some, some, some sort of pent up Backlash that will keep will keep sloppiness around the face and it's quite a hard pill to swallow because we're probably talking about level of change the likes of which none of us has ever seen. And that's a bit scary, isn't it?
But, but the risk is, if we don't, if leaders don't come forward who are willing to, to, to sort of take that on and literally lead through it, rather than react to it, then then I think, you know, we won't get out of this current cycle. And I think, you know, that that would be, that would be a great shame.
Well, you probably seen some of the stuff I've written on this subject, but I do think we've been handed a unique opportunity to make genuine difference. I mean, you know, step change difference, and that listening to you talk there, it strikes me that in order to build trust, you have to truly listen, deeply listen, and you know, what you were talking about. There is over the years we've, we've, you know, papered over cracks. I remember, you know, huge. I wasn't around, but huge civil unrest after Martin Luther King was shot and then there were all sorts of inquiries set up and then gradually. The noise dies down and here we are 50 years later with the same kind of social unrest linked to the same fundamental problems. So the listening that needs to happen now is on a deeper level than I think any of us have ever heard.
And listened before, I think we need to give ourselves time to, to, to listen deeply and understand to a different level than we've ever understood before, before we just leap into action with all the usual stuff. Whether it's another inquiry, or, you know, another policy that never manifest, so, so I do think we've been handed a complete unique opportunity bit, but can we trust in leadership? In the middle of that is going to be pivotal to listening, and then the words and actions matching as well.
So just to to Roundup, Because, like I say, we could have had a three day event here and and we do need to Roundup.
If I asked you to summarize what quick advice you would give, whether you want to give this advice out there, to business leaders, to community leaders, to social leaders, if we are going to make a change by building trust in leadership, what would it be? What would your, your quick advice be to anybody?
He's managed to listen to us. Go on for 40. 5, 50 minutes. three hours. I have no idea anymore. How long it? What day is it? What would you, What would your quick advice be? I suppose, thing that really interests me is for chief executives, When they communicate with the people in their organization. Always, to use a language is thought that applies there. Talking to.
Equals they're talking to. People are absolutely on par with them. There's no notion of hierarchy. I literally an hour before we started this call are sold to someone who thinks about IOT, who just got in trouble when the biggest charities the country.
And she said that someone had just left the organization after 20 years and had a note from the HR department, The first line was the rackets name and records.
And what happens is 70 organizations is at different levels, people communicate. No one ever looked the communication, it's just a part of the best receive yet. I think any CEO, it's a great thing, just go into a department. Just make one of asking for what's being sent out to people and they'd be recruited people they've left. The bluff to feedback, what goes for the invoice. The end of the contract, what feedback requested from the customer? Just have a random looking at communication and then look at your own. See whether it's respectful because we know respect precedes trust. You only trust people who make you feel at some level significant and hopefully special.
So I think that's the point. It's always the context for trust. It must be one of a sense of equal respect and real attentiveness. So, often, we miss that in the, in the Rush and that chaos and running organizations left that Pete, thank you, and thanks, Keith, you!
Yeah, it's just building on the I think this empathy, curiosity, and transparency. I think all of those things really interesting to me. So I think we're looking at organization's vision and Mission once I plate, what we're trying to achieve, and what's our place in the world? How are we making the world a better place?
And to quote, Gandhi, I think, to be the change you wish to see in the world thing, you know, what are we for? What difference that we're trying to make And do it respectfully. And for individuals in an organization, Mara, values, whatsapp purpose, and how we're living up to that.
I think if we're going to develop trust, and then it comes with transparency, what my for my trying to do, and are acting in ways that are consistent with that? And that question you just asked about how we're living up to that. I think So crucially isn't it. We have to keep asking yourself that question, and not making assumptions as Pete's intimated. That things are just happening the way. We're expecting them happening. Because somebody pronounced it. We have to make sure we're living up to it, so, John.
Yeah, I think that the two words, I mean, you talked about listening, Sarah, and Keith used a word about Curious?
I think it's a time to be passionately curious about what's going on, and therefore, that gives you the motivation to listen.
PEAT talks about trauma, and that we, you know, we've all come through this in a different place. So if you, if you carry on making decisions based on your, your, your view of the world as it was, you know, five months ago, you probably can miss something important. And the only way you're going to build a new map of the territory is, is through Repin. really curious and really listening and that, that, the list and you mentioned Sarah.
No. I think if we listen deeply at the moment, we'll probably hear something quite new. And that's, that's very valuable information, isn't it, for, for leaders? If they're making significant strategic decisions.
Well, fascinating times. I feel like I'm living through a giant case today. I'm sure. I think you said it earlier, Katie, and I will only be, when we look back, having put some time and perspective into this and look back and what's going on at the moment. That will know whether we've, we've hit those moments of truth and actually build to erode trust. And hopefully, it will be the former say. I've loved talking to you guys. I want to keep going, but somebody's going to beaches are fair. And a second. Anyway. I just want to say a huge thank you to all of you and I, I personally get so much value from my conversations with you that helped me do some of this stuff better. So. So thank you so much for everything, I've learned from all of you, and I will hopefully continue to learn from what you say. And it's been a pleasure to talk to you today, so really appreciate it.