Real Leaders

How Business Leaders Can Build Trust As They Work Toward a Sustainable Future

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

As many in society are losing trust in our systems and institutions, business leaders need to step up and lead the way. Trust in Action is a leader’s guide to drive the sense of urgency and change needed to address the big issues we face today. The book, which will be released on April 10, 2023, is part memoir, business case, and model instruction, where readers learn to define trust, identify the building blocks of trust, and apply a novel model to maintain, and if needed, regain trust.

Trust in Action was written by Jim Massey, a former VP of ESG Sustainability, Ethics, and Compliance at AstraZeneca, who led and developed Ambition Zero Carbon, the world’s most comprehensive corporate environmental programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gasses.

“As ESG topics become more relevant, more and more business leaders were asking me what they should do,” says Massey, currently Chief Sustainability Officer at Zai Lab, a global biopharmaceutical company. “My answer and the reason I wrote this book, is that it comes down to trust, and trying to help others understand that we can’t afford not to be singularly focused on social impact.”

The book is based on the premise called the trust model, an idea Jim developed that focuses on three elements: can, care, and do. For trust to be present each of these elements must be present. The model demonstrates how trust is the connective tissue that makes positive action possible, as it creates the building blocks for a successful self, team, and system. Here’s how it works:

●       Can: Leaders need to have clarity of their vision or purpose first, as this will enable them to be secure in their ability to tackle whatever issue or problem needs solving. This idea of ‘can’ allows leaders to try new solutions.

●       Care: Leaders need to demonstrate that they and their company will engage, listen, and take actions that benefit those who depend on them, balancing company profits with impact. Employees, customers, communities, and investors want companies to be successful, just not at all costs. Leaders and companies must show they care about people and our planet when they do business.

●       Do: Leaders and organizations must turn aspirations into operations and walk their talk. To make sense of the chaos, humans create built systems. Since we created these systems we can fix them and potentially use them to regain society’s trust.

“Jim’s most distinguishing characteristic is his ability to deliver on what he committed. He walks his talk,” says Dame Polly Courtice, Emeritus Director and Senior Ambassador, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership. “He has used these leadership qualities to help define the trust model of can, care, do.”

Book Launch Events: There will be two launch events for the book on April 10. During these events, Jim Massey will speak about what prompted him to write the book, and how the trust model he developed can help leaders gain trust to achieve their goals. To register for either event, visit: Monday, April 10, 8 AM – 9 AM EDT or Monday, April 10, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM.

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