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What Bloggers can Teach Your CEO about Trust

Written by Rebecca Okamoto on July 27, 2014

"Trust is earned." Unknown

A blogger...

Really? What does a tech blogger or a beauty blogger have to teach a CEO?

When it comes to building trust... A lot.

How many leaders simply have power because of their positions? Strip them of their title, would they still shine? Would people follow them? For many sadly, no. Why not?

Trust is earned.

As a leader in the world's largest consumer products company. I used to command a room of employees because my position dictated it. But as a new writer and blogger, I have no command. Every reader, and every visitor to my website is earned. It's a humbling experience and reminds me every day:

Leadership is a privilege.

I'm thankful for the opportunity because I'm a better leader today with no organization than with hundreds of people reporting to me.

Are you a leader aspiring to do better, and be better? Earn the trust of your organization the way bloggers earn the trust of their readership.

  1. Deliver on your promise. Have you ever clicked on a promising headline only to be terribly disappointed? Bad leadership has the same effect as bad blogging. You can give a rousing speech, but once your organization double clicks it doesn't matter how you sound. Your credibility depends on your actions matching your words.

  2. Provide value. No one reads a blog for long if it doesn't offer anything. Leaders must provide value to their organization. You show value by genuine recognition, meaningful work and real engagement.

  3. Stand up for what you believe in. A successful blog has a solid brand position and an unwavering POV. Leaders need the same. If you waver, turn a blind eye, or follow trends indiscriminately, no one will know what you stand for.

  4. Communicate regularly. Readers count on timely and relevant content. So do organizations. Keep your people up to speed and stay in touch with them. Otherwise they will seek information elsewhere, and you may not like the source.

  5. Clarity is critical. A blog cannot survive with muddled posts or rambling content. Leaders cannot either. Invest in improving your written and verbal communications.

  6. Listen and respond. Your organization is speaking volumes, do you hear them? Do you know what their hopes, dreams and challenges are? Do individuals feel like they matter to you? Bloggers who are not in touch with their followers lose them. Leaders who aren't in touch, lose trust.

  7. You can't buy loyalty. Or trust. Bloggers can game the system and buy "likes" and "followers", but they can't buy trust. The same is true for you: you can "buy" your organization with promotions, special favors and pay raises. BUT it's an illusion that will backfire.

  8. Be authentic. You can't phone it in. People can spot phony content whether it's written or spoken. Organizations can spot phony leaders. Genuine leadership naturally draws people in. When you share something personal, admit when you're wrong, or honestly say you don't know something, you're saying a lot about yourself. Try it. It works.

Every day with every word I have to earn the trust of my readers. They vote with their clicks, shares or silence. And at any time they can choose to follow someone else.

Imagine if all leaders had to earn their followers every day with every word and action. How would they act knowing their followers had the power to choose a different leader?

We shouldn't have to imagine it. We should be doing it - we should be earning our followers.

Earn your organization's trust and you will earn your title.


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