Building Trust by Leading from Purpose

Purpose, People, Planet - Profit for Impact Triple Bottom Line. Building Trust.
From “Leading with Purpose” on the Open Leadership section of the site

Over the last three days, my daily posts have focussed on Trust and an underlying issue of people not trusting their leaders in government at this critical time.

Today a great example from AirBnB of leading from Purpose and how that can and will build trust. Trust is key to any relationship, and building trust builds permission for leaders to lead and know that people will follow.

Be proud of how you are responding to this challenge

I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.

Queen Elizabeth, in her address on April 5th 2020

Since the Pandemic changed our lives, every person, leader and business has already had multiple opportunities to choose to respond in ways where they will be able to look back later and take pride, as the Queen noted.

Leading from purpose will reward you with loyalty

I have been posting here and on Twitter regularly (and way before Covid-19) when I see examples of businesses and leaders #DoingTheRightThing and Leading from Purpose. Those who lead from purpose in the way AirBnB have done, will see loyalty as we return to normalcy.

AirBnB and OpenLeadership

On May 5th, Brian Chesky, CEO of AirBnB, issued a letter where he announced c25% of the workforce will leave AirBnB. It is a remarkable letter full of humility, empathy, lead from purpose and values, allied to confidence and vision for the future.

The Purpose of AirBnB is: ‘Creating a world where Anyone can Belong Anywhere’.

(If you would like to understand how to create a purpose and the work that goes into it, this long read is excellent: “How Airbnb found its Purpose and why it’s a good one.“)

The first thing Brian says in his email is anchored on that Purpose:

“Today, I must confirm that we are reducing the size of the Airbnb workforce. For a company like us whose mission is centered around belonging, this is incredibly difficult to confront, and it will be even harder for those who have to leave Airbnb.”

At a time where we all get multiple opportunities to choose how we respond, kudos to Brian Chesky and his board and leadership team, who have clearly chosen to lead from purpose. Every person impacted by the decisions in that letter will have read it and, whatever the impact on them personally, will have felt the power of the word “belonging”


Also published on Medium.