Tag: Trust

Dictum Meum Pactum

London Stock Exchange Coat of Arms Dictum Meum Pactum
London Stock Exchange – Coat of Arms

The London Stock Exchange, dating back to 1801, was granted their coat of arms, above, in 1923.

Dictum Meum Pactum.

Meaning?: “My word is my bond”.

I am reminded recently that Scots law is different than English law. One key element is that under Scots law, a verbal contract is legally binding.

Once again: “My word is my bond”.


By being transparent you’ll be more trusted

By being transparent you'll be more trusted

There isn’t now sufficient transparency about why certain difficult decisions are made and with people really understanding how those decisions were reached. I think a lot of it is driven by fear, without an appreciation that transparency is actually a root to better decision making. But by being transparent, you’ll be more trusted, even when you get it wrong.

Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome Trust and member of SAGE, speaking of how the UK Government is making and communicating decisions around the pandemic to the public.

Trust is core to any relationship. Trust is and will be core to any politician or business in leading in and through the VUCA environment of emerging from lockdown. I’ve written several times in the last three weeks around the need for and gaps in trust between governments and their people, particularly where I live right now (the UK).

So, the phrase above really struck me as powerful. It comes from an interview on Friday May 22nd by Alan Rusbridger published in Prospect Magazine, which opens:

It feels as if the whole of Jeremy Farrar’s life has been a preparation for this crisis. A leading epidemiologist, he has been thinking about diseases, viruses and pandemics for most of his career. He is director of the Wellcome Trust, which funds a huge amount of scientific research. And now he sits on the government’s Sage group of scientists offering advice (not always taken) on how to navigate the unprecedented crisis we currently face.

So, clearly a highly credible interviewee. In the interview he makes some deeply important and anchoring points that are also sobering and often tough to read. I encourage you to read the whole piece on Prospect.

As my writing is centred on leadership though, today I simply anchor on and encourage us all to live by his phrase:

By being transparent you’ll be more trusted

The power of an upwards spiral

openness and trust upwards spiral

Trust is at the core of all relationships.

My underlying theme on this site I call #OpenLeadership, as being Open is at the heart of what I see as the new paradigm of Leadership, one of four core attributes detailed on the #BeMoreYou page.

I also love “Virtuous Circles”, my favourite being the one below from Gaping Void and that was the first of many framed prints from Hugh McLeod that filled the walls of our business in Cayman.


So, I love the image above of an Openness and Trust spiral, as a virtuous circle is really a 2D representation of a 3D upwards spiral, where both elements feed each other to higher and higher heights. Trust builds Openness, which builds more Trust, which builds even further Openness etc.

I close with another virtuous circle, that of the “Scale for Impact” model, or “new triple bottom line” where Purpose+People+Planet leads to Profit, which can then be reinvested for Scale to create ever more Impact through that focus on Purpose+People+Planet and so on.

Purpose, People, Planet - Profit for Impact Triple Bottom Line

Being a Vulnerable Visionary


“I think the best entrepreneurs are Vulnerable Visionaries. Its a combination of being vulnerable and having confidence.” ~ Chip Conley

I have referenced Chip Conley in my daily posts multiple times, with his concept of “Vulnerable Visionary” one learning I repeatedly share.

Today’s post dives into Chip’s thoughts on what it means to be a Vulnerable Visionary and why it is so important.

I then go on to coin my own Emotional Equation (Chip’s idea too!) on being a Vulnerable Visionary.

Finally, I’ll link this all into how my belief in this concept informed the development and articulation of the types of leaders I wish to attract to work with me and who I love to work with to make a difference!

I hope all of this has value to you in considering your own leadership as well as those who have taught and inspired you.


“WHY” and how Kaizen can fail you


A recent conversation about Kaizen prompts me to highlight what it truly takes for it to work for you and your business.

“Kaizen” is the Japanese word for Improvement.

In industry, it is used to mean continuous improvement. It was pioneered by Toyota, but, as business around the world has gradually seen that using “command and control” process improvement is nowhere near as effective as a motivated team focussed on continuous improvement, Kaizen has been co-opted into “Agile” and other ways to improve in business.

The thing is, when adopting Kaizen methods, I’ve seen it fail to have the desired effect in businesses with reasonable frequency. Why? (more…)

The biggest hidden asset in your business

jack ma trust

Prior to my focus over the last decade on leadership and so people, I spent nearly twenty years focussed on numbers and building value in businesses. A key part of that is assessing the hidden assets in a business, the stuff that isn’t always apparent in the financial statements.

Some of these come from assessing shifts a company can make in strategy, though what drew me towards a focus on people was that so many assets are actually around people, behaviour, culture. However, all too often those hidden assets are not valued and so not brought forth, focussed on, invested in to achieve returns.

Today some simple thoughts on one area that is a major hidden asset that can be realised by any business. (more…)

Ethics and Reputation Management. Hmm.


This week I wrote a short post called “Reputation Hygiene“. It was about simple things like being on time for meetings.

Now, after reading this, in a recent conversation someone made an off the cuff remark about having read my post and that it had them thinking about Reputation Management and Ethics, though it was just a remark, we didn’t get a chance to discuss it.

Now, as an ICAS CA (see “Trust and being an ICAS CA“) and someone to whom ethics are at my core, I have a question I am pondering from that remark. I won’t share my thoughts now as am indeed pondering, but my gut reaction is:

“If you are ethical you don’t need Reputation Management!”

Put another way, if you need to hire someone to do Reputation Management for your business, then perhaps it is time to questions, your culture, values and ethics?




Reputation Hygiene


Recently I was about to have a first meeting with someone.

They were late. When they arrived, they gave no reason.

Thought of the term “reputation hygiene”, as with only a little focus and attention our reputation is maintained and built upon, yet if we allow it to be sullied, it can be difficult to restore.

A few simple tips, then around reputation hygiene:

  1. Be on time. Seriously. Be on time.
  2. Be polite. Always. No exceptions.
  3. Answer emails within one working day.
  4. If you are wrong, apologise. Oh, and ask what you can do to make it right.
  5. Say thank you, and mean it.
  6. Say what you are going to do and do what you are going to say.

I could continue, but you get the gist.

Trust and being an ICAS CA

Bruce Cartwright

Bruce Cartwright, Chief Executive, ICAS

Last year I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Bruce Cartwright shortly after he took the reins as Chief Executive of ICAS.

This week, as I find myself writing about what it takes for successful Collaborative Leadership, the theme of Trust comes around again and again.

Also this week, Bruce and ICAS launched the ICAS agenda, with one of their three themes being Trust. (more…)

Brave Thinking and Big Ambitions


The V&A Museum opened in Dundee in 2018, design by Kengo Kuma

Today am inspired by a conversation this week about brave thinking and big ambitions.

I love to work with brave leaders. One of the four characteristics of people who choose to work with me (see the BeMoreYou page) is that they are brave. At it says on that page:

Be Brave.
Bravery means you’re open to being uncomfortable, to stretching, as that’s where the growth lies. If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re playing it too safe.

Bravery is a virtuous circle. When you embrace your full potential (discomfort and all). Your vision becomes clearer and your confidence increases, even in the face of uncertainty.

So, let’s talk today about some examples of Brave Thinking leading to Big Ambition for organisations and businesses. May it inspired your own brave thinking and help you conceive and achieve your big ambitions for yourself, for your organisation. (more…)

Change takes bravery and belief

entrepeneur build plane cliff

A few days ago I shared learnings from Mike Driver in : “Where Entrepreneurialism comes from“. Basically Mike said that it can’t be taught:

““..entrepreneurialism can’t be taught and the library full of books attempting to teach it are a waste of time. Short of travelling back in time and putting your childhood self through some sort of trauma you cannot ‘become’ an entrepreneur.”

This week I find myself working with a client leadership team looking to lead transformative behaviour change in their government department.

What they need, at some level, is entrepreneurial thinking, but if Mike is right (and I do agree with him), what can be done to support them around change? (more…)

Trust is a choice

choose trust

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them”

This is the title I gave to a recent post in which I referenced three leadership examples, including a quote from James Timpson of the family-owned UK firm of the same name:

“The easiest way to create a culture of kindness in an organisation is to trust everyone to do what they think is right…every time a decision needs to be made.”

Today I thank Dom Monkhouse for sharing on LI an HBR article on PWC on flexible working, to which he adds his thoughts:

“A good article showing flexibility can work in a big firm. Trust shouldn’t need to be earned. It should be assumed everyone is trusted from the outset.” (more…)