Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

wall_street_2Today SynergyBlog learns that despite the economic woes that many American’s feel, the executives of AIG have decided that they deserve $165 million in bonuses.

This behavior is alarming, outrageous, and it’s the reason my dissertation will seek to understand the drivers of trust and distrust in brands and corporate leaders – and how to restore that trust once it is broken.

The executives at AIG should do a little research of their own. They should look into the lives of average Americans and think about whether they deserve one more cent (in addition to the $170 billion bailout money they’ve already recieved) of our hard-earned money.

According to CBS News American International Group is paying out millions of dollars in executive bonuses to meet a Sunday deadline. But the troubled insurance giant has agreed to administration demands to restrain future payments.

The Treasury Department determined that the government did not have the legal authority to block the current payments by the company that has already received more than $170 billion in U.S. support.

AIG declared earlier this month that it had suffered a loss of $61.7 billion for the fourth quarter of last year, the largest corporate loss in history.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has asked that the company scale back future bonus payments where legally possible, an administration official said Saturday.

This official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Saturday that Geithner had called AIG Chairman Edward Liddy on Wednesday to ask that Liddy renegotiate AIG’s current bonus structure. See full story here.

Is this ethical behavior? SynergyBlog is disgusted. How about you?


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State-of-OhioToday SynergyBlog celebrates the companies in the State of Ohio who are most admired in their respective industries for being the best.

Companies are evaluated for leadership in people management,  innovation, corporate social responsibility, diversity, and financial management.

Congratulations. And thank you for all you do!
Company City
Goodyear Tire & Rubber
Chiquita Brands International Cincinnati
Cintas Cincinnati
Kroger Cincinnati
Procter & Gamble Cincinnati
Eaton Cleveland
American Electric Power Columbus
Limited Brands Columbus
Cardinal Health Dublin
Owens Corning Toledo

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bankingA fascinating headline in the AP tonight. The top bankers in the U.S. are now concentrating on rebuilding the public trust.

We are certainly going to be watching. In our opinion, there is nothing more important in this crisis than the public trust – and it has been violated with impunity.

The leaders of our financial institutions would be well-served to learn a valuable lesson. Stakeholder trust that you earn by leading with integrity, making sound business decisions, and exuding compassion and respect to valued stakeholders is far more important than short-term profits.

Lead. Thrive. Trust and be Trusted! (more…)

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what-is-your-leadership-style3This is a very insightful post by Dr. Rick Johnson of CEO Strategist LLC. Dr. Johnson states, and we concur, “Servant-leadership encourages collaboration, trust, foresight, listening, and the ethical use of power and empowerment.” We suggest you think about which model fits your leadership style, and how you leverage servant leadership within your own organizations, and amongst internal and external stakeholders. In these economic times, it is critical to re-evaluate our decision-making processes, and ensure they are aligned with a set of principles that encourages trust in individuals, organizations, and brands.
Lead. Thrive. Trust and be Trusted.

There isn’t much doubt that most effective high impact leaders are driven by a model. This is true even when that effective leader doesn’t take the time to define his personal unique model. A model is an intangible tool that leaders use to predict future outcomes of current decisions; a tool that not only enhances personal creativity but encourages creativity in the minds of their employees. (more…)

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A great piece on organizational trust from our friends at Entrepreneur.com

by Perry, Ronald W., Mankin, Lawrence D.
Public Personnel Management • Summer 2007 •

Especially in the past decade, employees have begun to change their view of the organizations in which they work, with traditional employee-organization bonds becoming weaker. (1) The private sector has seen the collapse of several large corporations, sometimes with managers realizing huge personal profit while employees lost their pensions. Public organizations lack comparable scandals, although the Orange County, California financial collapse is memorable. Downsizing, privatizing and contracting out practices generated by economic pressures have eroded what is usually seen as a strong identification of employees with the governments for whom they work. (2) Interestingly, governments have continued to outsource, and a recent report by Segal, Moore and Blair (3) argues that outsourcing is an important trend and advocates the outsourcing of human resources functions. At the same time, Nyhan (4) argues that the future of public organizations rests in the creation of trust in management and the organization as a means of positively influencing not only quality of work life but efficiency and effectiveness of performance. Aon Consulting (5) studied the U.S. workforce and, like Nyhan, found that “building commitment must be a strategic goal emanating from senior leadership.” Their premise was that employees who trust their managers and organizations are freer to innovate, energize and produce. (more…)

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Restore Stakeholder Trust

Restore Stakeholder Trust

There has never been a more critical time in our history to be concerned about the trust stakeholders place in institutions. As has been stated here by Tim Hartford, “Trust enables people to do business with one another. Doing business is what creates wealth.” Yet, each day, we hear more stories of trusted executives who betray stakeholder trust. Despite the best intentions of some organizational leaders, public exposure and scrutiny of corporate greed and fraud are so prevalent that stakeholder skepticism is commonplace. In fact, the potential for perceived breaches of trust also presents a risk to corporate leaders. So, what is to be done? What can executives do to right the ship – to exude values that establish, maintain, and maximize stakeholder trust?

In a recent qualitative study of three U.S. institutions, including a Fortune 500 corporation, a government entity, and a nonprofit organization, the author found that there are seven critical elements of a comprehensive trust repair agenda. The first, and most important finding is that when trust has been violated, stakeholders are motivated to understand why the violation occurred. Findings show that stakeholders first want to understand the circumstances surrounding the violation. Managers and executives should provide an open account of key features of the transgression. Explanations which are authentic, reasoned, open and relevant to the transgression in question enhance fairness judgments, and can increase trustworthiness perceptions. Our findings have been supported by scholars (see Barclay 2008; Greenberg, 1993), and practitioners. (more…)

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The U.S. is facing a crisis of trust in organizations, institutions, and our leaders. Today, we witnessed what we hope is the very beginning of a long, slow restoration of trust with the new administration. But we must do more.

I am currently writing an article based on a qualitative study conducted on organizational trust and trust repair, which will provide insight into how organizational leaders can establish, maintain, and maximize stakeholder trust… and why it matters more than every other asset in an organization. I will post excerpts from the article throughout the week and would love to hear your thoughts.

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