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Servant Leadership and Market Trust


 “In the end, all you have is your reputation.”

~Oprah Winfrey

Stephen Covey (Stephen R. Covey’s son) highlights the fourth wave of trust in his book, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything as Market Trust. This wave of trust is all about brand and reputation. And market trust is about the external stakeholders.
Market trust is really about the feeling you have that makes you want to buy products or services. It’s about investing your time and money and recommending that your friends do the same. A brand is “trust monetized.”
As a result, companies spend a ton a money on creating a brand that inspires people to trust them, their products, and their services.
If you want to improve your brand, Covey argues that your company or organization must strengthen its 4 Cores and 13 Behaviors so that you can measurably increase the value of your organization’s brand.
Building credibility and trust are key values to Servant Leaders and to the marketplace in which they serve.
Considering the perspective of your customers, ask yourself:

  1. Does my brand have Integrity? Do we have a reputation for honesty?
  2. Does my brand demonstrate good Intent? Do people feel that we genuinely care or that we are simply out to “make a profit?”
  3. Does my brand demonstrate Capabilities? Do people associate our name with quality, excellence, continuous improvement, and relevance?
  4. Is my brand associated with Results? Do people feel we deliver what we promise? Is a good track record associated with our name? Would you recommend us to a friend?

Building one’s brand requires that Servant Leaders apply the 13 behaviors (2 blogs posts ago) and apply those behaviors to external stakeholders, that is, customers, suppliers, distributors, investors, and communities. 3 concepts to consider:
Talk Straight
Treat customers as if they are educated adults.
Create Transparency
Create a dynamic self-regulating economy where customers feel the transparency of your organization.
Listen First
Genuine listening is one of the truest forms of competitive advantage. Create customer panels. Conduct formal market research, make personal calls to customers, and create loyalty programs. Your customers feel good when they are heard.
Servant Leaders understand that the same concepts that apply at the level of Market Trust also applies to Self-Trust, Relationship Trust, and Organizational Trust.
At the end of the day, whatever trust we are able to create in our organizations and in the marketplace, is ONLY the result of the credibility and trust we create in and for ourselves.
To Market Trust,

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