Trust is in crisis around the world

The highly respected Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that, in 2017, trust is in crisis around the world. The general population’s trust in all four key institutions — business, government, NGOs, and media — has declined broadly, a phenomenon not reported since Edelman began tracking trust among these sectors in 2000.

In the UK, only 46% of people trust business leaders to do what is right and only 37% regard a company CEO as a credible spokesperson. Leaders that respond first to tackle this trust crisis will secure a competitive advantage for themselves and their organisations.

Leaders can no longer trust in power; instead, they must rely on the power of trust. Charles Green

The AoEC has partnered with the Trusted Executive Foundation to help organisations step-up to the trust building challenge and develop trustworthy leaders that focus on results, relationships and reputation. Together, creating a leadership model that focuses upon trust will help the organisation achieve outstanding results, generate sustainable profits though cooperation and develop highly productive relationships, all whilst preserving the long term business reputation of being a trusted organisation.

The resulting partnership has produced The Journey of Trust, a full suite of trust-based leadership development opportunities aimed at improving individual and organisational trustworthiness.

John Blakey, author of The Trusted Executive, and prize-winning doctoral researcher on trust, has developed a leadership trust model designed specifically to help business leaders build trustworthiness amongst the various stakeholders.

The Journey of Trust Leadership Development Programme explores and establishes these nine personal habits with the help of an accredited coach from the AoEC, cutting-edge workshops and confidential peer support from executives sharing the journey.

The Journey of Trust can start in a number of different ways:

  • An organisational trust survey which will capture the trust pulse of the organisation and create a rich organisational diagnostic based on the nine habits of trust.
  • A ‘Trusted Executive’ workshop where senior leaders will be introduced to the three pillars and nine habits of trust through an interactive and engaging half-day session.
  • An inspiring conference keynote session delivered by John Blakey to a wider management group in which John will share his findings on the trust crisis in leadership and highlight the risks and opportunities for business leaders at this time.

Please contact us via if you require any further information on the above options.

We recommend 12 to 15 senior executives to take the Journey of Trust together. They will need to have the support of an internal coordinator to assist with the administrative aspects of the coaching sessions over the course of the 10-12 month programme. For smaller numbers of participants, we offer an open programme, where 2-3 senior executives from one organisation can join with similar numbers from other organisations, please contact us at for further information.

The impact of the investment in this evidence-based programme is to increase the level of trust in senior leaders which in turn leads to an energised and innovative environment at work in which people feel safe, trusted and confident to take the initiative and do their best work. Tony Simons and Judi Parks at Cornell University found that a 1/8th improvement in line manager trustworthiness led to a 2.5% increase in company profitability and concluded ‘no other single aspect of manager behaviour that we measured had as large an impact on profits’.

In addition, to agreeing specific financial goals for the programme, the Journey of Trust will also focus upon achieving measurable goals in the area of building inspiring relationships and developing a cast-iron brand reputation for the company, as these are both critical assets in delivering sustainable success.

Here are a variety of testimonials from clients that have experienced the Journey of Trust:-

‘John delivered an inspiring keynote at our Entrepreneur of the Year event. He was spontaneous and dynamic in pitching his session at just the right level for our audience of entrepreneurs. I am sure that those present picked up on his passion for the topic of leadership trust and left with new thinking and renewed commitment to step up to the trust-building challenge. An excellent contribution.’ – Neil Meredith, Partner, Ernst & Young

‘John wowed a room full of seasoned marketing directors on the topic becoming a trusted executive. His cutting-edge research, practical experience and entertaining anecdotes captured everyone’s attention as we learnt about the three pillars and nine habits of trust. The session was a powerful wake-up call. Thank you John- – Lucy Hogarth, MD, The Marketing Centre

‘John delivered a ‘Trusted Executive’ webinar for AMBA which now has over 27,000 MBA students and graduates around the world. His insight into how leaders can build trust in themselves and in their company is something that our community has found highly valuable and useful. His clear and articulated approach shows that he has vast experience and knowledge of the subject.’ – Victor Hedenberg – Association of MBAs

‘John brought his acclaimed book to life in expert fashion using a mixture of inspirational anecdotes, fascinating case studies and cutting-edge research. The CEOs and MDs present worked practically with John’s unique nine habits of trust model to learn how they could take their own trust-building skills to the next level and so make trust a competitive advantage for their businesses. The session was a fabulous balance of compelling theory with immediate practical take-aways. We even got some jelly beans! Top class.’ – Adam Harris, Vistage Chair

‘John enthralled sixteen CEOs on the topic of trust for 3 hours – no mean feat! He took us on a fascinating journey of trust from the big picture to the nitty gritty and left us with clear, practical take-always. It was a memorable session which I would recommend for all leaders who wish to transform their trust-building skills’ – Kate Fletcher, Vistage Chair

 ‘John delivered a barnstorming session which inspired and motivated some of Europe’s top leaders at the SIINDA (Search and Information Industry Association) conference in London. John had delegates on the edge of their seats as they took on board his thought-provoking messages about the trust crisis in leadership today. His nine habits model gave everyone a practical road-map for building leadership trust in their own organisations. The auditorium was buzzing with excited discussions at the end of his session. Thanks, John, for an energetic and inspiring talk!’ – Kimberli J. Lewis, General Manager, SIINDA

‘John delivered the keynote speech at the QHotels annual conference. This was a compelling and truly inspiring insight into the need to position trust and integrity right at the heart of how we run our business, deliver on our promises and exceed customer expectations. John’s brand of personal leadership and passion, coupled with expertise and insight as a thought leader on trust, challenged all present to strip back to the nine habits that underpin trust and accelerate performance and enhance reputation. A truly memorable and highly regarded key note address that continues to inspire our actions.’ – Chris Gaines, Commercial Director, Q Hotels


The programme enables a ‘win/win’ between helping individual leaders at the same time as achieving specific organisational objectives with both aspects informed by leading-edge academic research on trust.

If you are interested in discussing how you and your organisation can get involved or you simply would like to learn more, please complete the form or send an email to


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