Summary of Francis Frei

Francis Frei summary

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In this episode of the Connolly Owens podcast Scaling Culture, Harvard Business School professor – and best-selling author of Uncommon Service and co-author of Unleashed – Frances Frei demystifies trust by breaking it into three component parts. Frei and host Ron Lovett discuss how leaders can hone trustworthiness and promote trust within rapidly growing companies. Leaders will benefit from Frei’s best practice examples from her time as Uber’s first senior vice president of leadership and strategy.

About the Podcast

Ron Lovett is a leadership consultant and host of the Connolly Owens podcast, Scaling CultureFrances Frei is a professor of technology and operations management at Harvard Business School. She is the co-author of Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You and the author of the bestseller Uncommon Service.


Trust has three components: authenticity, logic and empathy.

Trust is not monolithic. It consists of three behavioral components over which people have agency. The three elements of the “trust triangle” are authenticity, logic and empathy.

People will trust you only if you act authentically. They will notice right away if you say something you don’t believe. For people to trust you, the things you say and do must derive from and display logic. You must demonstrate empathy to build trust.

If you sense a lack of trust, identify the component you do not practice and make amends.

If you feel a lack of trust between you and someone else, identify the component of trust you may lack. Among more than 100,000 people surveyed, Frei found that people can self-diagnose their trust deficits with 80% accuracy.

If you are unsure which component you should address, discuss the...

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