Trust and how it keeps you from having to keep playing Executive Whack-a-Mole (session with Bob Whipple for GVASTD)

GV-ASTD* met on March 8th, 2012 for a very interesting and engaging session by Bob Whipple, the Trust Ambassador – Stop playing executive Whack a Mole.  As always, Bob Whipple gets you to think, see outside your box and explore some ideas in the other zones of your reality – and he is always entertaining!

He started with, so what’s different today for leaders than just a few years ago (he asked the audience)?  Globalization, cell phones… Bottom line, as a leader, ‘You are always on.’  So then, more importantly, what is the role of ASTD?  The group answer – To see reality, see things differently.

What does the leader need to do?  First, build a good foundation that includes Values, Mission, Strategy and Behaviors.  They must set the vision and then incorporate ‘change cycles’ to achieve the vision.  But the leader today is caught in the trap of ‘always on’ and is just solving problems instead of doing the right thing.  Like building a better culture and leading with trust.  And that requires investment in thinking time, me time.

The long term truth is that investing in the culture and people helps to take care of things in the future.  This solves a myriad of problems.  Trust is essential to establishing a good culture.  What is Trust (he asked us again)?  Respect and faith emerged as real needs for Trust.

According to Bob, the first law of trust is, ‘Trust others more.’  We then did a very illuminating exercise around the value of trust in categories like Problem Solving, Communication, Customer Retention and others.  We then explored the ingredients of trust and then the types of trust (people, products, organization, systems).

Building trust is like a bank account; you can make deposits all year and lose it all in one withdrawal.  To protect the account of trust, leaders need to exercise Reinforcing Candor.  This means responding well to things you may not want to hear.  Does not imply agreement, but this means respecting the other, then trust does not diminish during issues.

Then there is Trust and Accountability.  Accountability should be a positive thing vs. a negative thing.

And then we were way out of time, although we could have spent the rest of the evening exploring the nuances of leadership and trust.

Thanks Bob!

Bob may be reached at

*GVASTD – The Genesee Valley American Society for Training Development www.gvastd.orgImage


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