Trust is the Bedrock Beneath Every Lead With We Business — Part 5 “A Core Purpose People Can Trust”

Photo Provide by Yosef Futsum

This post is the fifth in a series of eight that examines the bedrock beneath every Lead With We business: Trust that builds reputation, culture, sales, and loyalty during a time of crisis.

After remolding our businesses to increase trust, after remaking our brands, and reorienting our marketing in the wake of the 2020 pandemic and all its concurrent civil unrest, and after our outspoken viewpoints expressed in response to all we endured, we can’t go back. We can’t do less.

The timelines on multiple fronts, not the least of which is the environmental one, are contracting quickly. Rising expectations that we will demonstrate daily in the face of whatever comes our way our commitments to the collective, our Proof of Purpose, has been proven out. It’s a permanent fixture now. Get used to it. The compounding of issues will work to our detriment unless we all step up — but collectively, we can tap into this unprecedented opportunity.

As we’ve been discussing in this series, it depends primarily on trust.

When trying to find where to slot your purpose and movement-making into a larger cultural conversation — to solidify trust both internally and externally — you might ask yourself, then plan accordingly:

For immediate cultural flashpoints, such as civil unrest over some issue, you’ll have to adopt a “first responder” strategy. To respond to unforeseen issues will require layered crisis management, with a clear and well-established purpose as a foundation, and sustainability and good DI&E as table stakes. Then you can add to the foregoing questions, these several:

Probably the best way to ensure trust in your business is to not make decisions exclusively top-down. Rather, involve all stakeholders. Seems the companies that best Lead With We take advantage of a larger cultural movement toward coalitions and other gatherings of leaders and encourage the public’s rising role as a mass oversight committee, putting pressure on business to get its act together in their (i.e., all our) interest. Take the climate crisis:

One-third of … businesses aren’t even talking about environmental stewardship internally [writes Michael Shank in Fast Company] … especially confounding given that 7 in 10 executives are “feeling pressure from customers and investors to make sustainability a strategic priority” and 9 in 10 leaders say, “consumers will likely hold them accountable for their environmental impact.” There’s clearly demand for it. In short, “My employer” is now the most trusted of any institution — but workers expect CEOs to be the “face of change.”

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Simon Mainwaring

Founder/CEO brand consultancy, We First, bestselling author of We First and Lead With We, host of podcast, Lead With We.