"Whether it's employees, customers, shareholders, neighbors or any other stakeholder group, nothing good is going to happen unless and until they have a reason to trust. No investment in communication will ever overcome failure to implement actions that merit trust."
"Leaders are both the messenger and the message. It's not enough to just have a strong message. How a leader portrays that message is equally important. An effective leadership message has the right words based on the right actions and is delivered with the right attitude."
"Decide how you want your company to be perceived. Make sure the behaviors walk the talk. Compile as many specific examples as possible to support that. At the end of the day, tell the truth. Tell everyone the same basic message. Tell it with the right tone. Chances are you'll be just fine."
"Nothing breaks trust faster than an ethics issue -- especially when it becomes visible. Any issue that reflects on the integrity of your business is to be avoided like the plague."
"Too few organizations understand that their actions speak louder than their words."
"A lot of people will tell you that the best investment you'll ever make is in the education of your children. Actually, that's the second best investment. The very best is to invest in your own personal brand. Do that well and you'll be able to afford those college tuitions."
"Every leader absolutely must be able to address these five topics. (1) Who we are. (2) What we do. (3) What we stand for. (4) Why we're distinctive. (5) Where we're heading. "
"Insist that actions from top to bottom support the values you espouse such as treating all employees with dignity, standing behind your company's products or protecting the environment."
"Focus on being a listening organization. Listen to employees. Listen to customers. Listen to neighbors. Managers who listen become better managers."
"Customers, clients, donors and other supporters always have choices. A stakeholder relationship is never, ever an entitlement. Those relationships must be earned and constantly reinforced."