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The Trusted Executive

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The Trusted Executive

Nine Leadership Habits that Inspire Results, Relationships and Reputation

Kogan Page,

15 min read
8 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Leaders who put profit before trust won’t thrive in the new economy.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


People demand more from leaders today than a commitment to profit. They want to trust the people in charge. Such trust is a valuable – but easily destroyed – commodity. Executive coach John Blakey argues that to earn trust, leaders must be conscientious global citizens committed to empowering stakeholders who traditionally lack boardroom influence. Now, the leadership challenge is to build a high-trust culture, earn a reputation as a trustworthy leader and recover from trust-eroding mistakes. Leaders must value trust, Blakey argues, because it’s the hidden driver of high performance. 


Putting profit before trust is obsolete. Embrace transparency instead.

People don’t trust organizations unless they trust the people at the top of their hierarchies. The behavior of your CEO and leadership team determines whether a high-trust culture will thrive at your company. Unlike leaders from older generations who traditionally embraced a more profit-driven approach, young people demand transparency, which tech-driven organizations require in order to function. 

When the PR firm Edelman surveyed investors, it discovered that 84% of respondents felt the primary goal of a business shouldn’t be only shareholder value maximization, but that companies should consider the needs of its stakeholders and local communities.

Each new generation holds increasingly less faith in authority figures: only 29% of people now feel that those who hold positions of power necessarily know best. If you’re a boss, understand that your job title’s authority can’t substitute for trust. Gaining trust from your stakeholders – corporate owners or shareholders, partners, customers, staff, regulators, suppliers, government...

About the Author

Dr. John Blakey founded the nonprofit The Trusted Executive Foundation, which helps corporate teams build high-performance cultures rooted in trust.

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