I just can’t be quiet anymore when I see a CEO or a Leader talking about trust, when it seems they have some issues themselves. Now, I fully know we all make mistakes; I make them all the time. But, enough is enough.
Here’s a video on the CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, talking about trust. It’s very good and while I’ve only been in a Whole Foods store 4 or 5 times, I am very impressed with their business. The problem with him talking about trust is he himself had a long standing issue with trust. However, before I tell you what he did, watch his impressive comments on the video.
OK, now that you’ve watched the video, would it surprise you to learn that for over 7 years he posted on Yahoo Finance under an alias commenting negatively about a company he was trying to acquire, Wild Oats. He did eventually acquire the company but was forced to sell it in 2010 after courts made him do so. Here’s the story..
Hearing that he did that, what do you think of his comments on trust now?
Here’s the deal. The best way to influence others is to ALWAYS do the right thing and to always tell the truth. Mackey commented after he was caught that he made a “mistake.” A mistake in my mind is something you do one time; it’s not something you do for 7 years and then all of the sudden realize this, see where it’s going to affect you financially and the like and then fess up. When it comes to trust, you just have to be very careful. When it comes to trust and integrity, you are either honest or you’re not!
One of the business leaders I used to admire was Jack Welch. He often spoke of ethics and still does. Yet, he had an affair with a reporter that today is his wife. So, Jack, when do we listen to you? Does what you do at home not count? Or is business more important than your family? I don’t believe his comments on integrity anymore and I don’t hold him in the high regard I once did.
The bottom line is, we live in a world where we are quick to forgive and for the most part, that’s a good thing. However, when it comes to trust and your ability to lead and have others follow, you must understand what you do speaks so loudly, others can’t hear what you are saying.