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Is building an environment of trust a Board responsibility?

Frank Bucaro (frank@frankbucaro.com) is President at Frank C. Bucaro and Associates, Inc. in Williams Bay, WI.

Warren Buffet, in a memo to his senior managers, stated “Culture, more than rule books, determines how an organization behaves.”

Boards need to have oversight of the Ethics and Compliance function in particular. The culture of an organization determines how people act, make decisions, and govern their affairs.

It has been said that leadership is not so much about what you do, but it’s about what other people do because you are there! In other words, there must be some type of moral authority in board leadership. Otherwise, leadership loses its focus and impact. There are five board/leadership values that need to be non-negotiable if a culture of trust is to be created and maintained.

The first value is Trustworthiness. What is your word worth? There was a time in business when a person’s word was their bond. Not so anymore, it seems. Do you keep your promises? If not, can you be trusted?

The second value is Unity. Are all “players” in the same book, on the same page, same paragraph, and same sentence? Do we all share the same goals, values, modus operandi, etc.? As a board, what is the communication process to keep this value as a key focal point?

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