I am directed by management to announce to you all that your Ethics Alarms host was recently honored by Trust Across America, whose co-founder and Executive Director Barbara Kimmel often weighs in here. The inspiring non-profit organization, which pursues the crucial mission of enhancing trustworthy behavior in organizations, annually names its Top 100 Thought Leaders In Trustworthy Business, and I made the 2014 list, which is a distinguished one. For example, it also includes Charles H. Green, whose commentaries on posts here often enhance the site.
The list is described on the TAA site this way:
“While there are many “top” lists and awards, none specifically address trustworthy business – perhaps because the word “trust” presents a definitional challenge. For five years Trust Across America has been working with a growing team of experts to study, define and quantify organizational trust. During the course of our research, we have met with and spoken to hundreds of experts, across a variety of professional disciplines who, when their efforts are combined, help create trustworthy organizations. As our understanding of trust deepens, so does our pool of exceptional candidates. Many of the honorees are well-known CEOs and leadership experts, while others are quietly working behind the scenes as teachers and researchers. We intend to shine the spotlight on both groups, to redirect the focus from the “scandal of the day” to the trustworthy leaders and organizations of the day.”
I could not be more grateful, honored or humble (hey, I can be humble!), and I want to thank Barbara and her organization for this recognition and encouragement. Trust, as I write here often, really is the essential goal of ethics, for without trust, productive human society is impossible. We have a very long way to go to repair the fraying societal and institutional trust now plaguing America, but groups like Trust Across America give me hope that the task is not impossible, just daunting. I do believe that together, by setting and maintaining high standards and not allowing ourselves to be distracted by biases and rationalizations, a more trusting, ethical world is within reach.