​The Risk of a Trust Deficiency​

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​I recently wrote a post, Are you, your organization, and its leaders trusted? I discussed the need for trust if you are going to be successful, whether as an individual leader, an executive team, or an organization.

But the comments in the post and on LinkedIn were generally disappointing (with some notable exceptions).

The point is that not only is trust a critical ingred​​ient to success, but a trust deficiency is a hidden killer. It’s a poison within the organization that will, over time, erode its chances for success.

I quoted a Watson Wyatt study that reported that less than 40% of employees had “trust and confidence in their senior leaders.”

I also quoted a Gallup report that found that “employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers and supervisors. People leave because they are not respected, listened to, appreciated, or cared about”.

In my experience, most leaders and organizations have trust deficiencies but don’t know it.

In my post, I provided advice for individual leaders, board members, and the executive leadership team.

Let me add, here, advice for risk and assurance professionals:

  • Recognize that where there is a trust deficiency there is a high risk of failure.
  • When individuals don’t trust their leaders, they put their personal interests ahead of their manager’s, team’s, and organization’s — with obvious consequences.
  • Rather than just acknowledging that a trust deficiency may exist, consider whether you and your team can help the organization understand it, assess its implications, and take action to address the deficiency — continuing thereafter to monitor and maintain trust levels.
  • We are not doing our job if we ignore this as an issue.

When you, as a risk or assurance professional, just say “trust is issue, so I will audit around it” you are perpetuating the problem and not helping to fix it. In fact, you are now part of the problem!

Don’t just watch, act!

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