ATLANTA--()--Business people are more apt to trust news media than politicians, according to the results of the 2012 Speakeasy Trust Survey. The survey also revealed that the most trusted leader in business is Warren Buffett and the most trusted company is Google.
“He embodies many of the core values Speakeasy stands for in our practice of helping business leaders become more authentic communicators: he communicates honestly, he doesn’t mince words, he makes consistently good decisions, and he’s extremely knowledgeable. He paints the picture of authenticity toward which people naturally gravitate.”
Speakeasy, Inc., a nearly 40-year old executive communication consultancy that helps business leaders to develop more powerful and strategic communication, conducted the 2012 Trust Survey among business people at varying levels of responsibility within a broad range of industries, in September 2012.
Politicians: used car salesmen in nicer suits?
When asked to select who they trust most when receiving communication, respondents were given a choice between business associates, politicians, salespeople, celebrities or news media. The most votes were received for people we know personally, with 97 percent of respondents selecting business associates.
“Given the choices, it stands to reason that people would most trust the coworkers they see and interact with on a daily basis,” said Scott Weiss, CEO, Speakeasy. “The real surprise is that politicians scored no votes while the news media scored three percent of the vote. What this says to me is that politicians need to take a good look at what they really represent in the public eye. Exacerbating the issue is the disturbing need to run every word uttered by a politician through a fact-checking process in order to validate their honesty.”
Warren Buffett: the business leader we trust most
Respondents were also asked to provide a write-in answer for which business leader they trust most and why. Warren Buffett was the overwhelming winner, with 14 percent of respondents writing in his name. Among the reasons: “he is plain spoken,” “he is authentic,” and “it’s clear that his motivation is not just about money.”
“Though it may seem surprising that such a large percentage of respondents voluntarily filled in Warren Buffett’s name, it actually makes a lot of sense,” noted Weiss. “He embodies many of the core values Speakeasy stands for in our practice of helping business leaders become more authentic communicators: he communicates honestly, he doesn’t mince words, he makes consistently good decisions, and he’s extremely knowledgeable. He paints the picture of authenticity toward which people naturally gravitate.”
Other business leaders named in the survey include S. Truett Cathy (Chick-Fil-A), Bill Gates (Microsoft, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and Richard Branson (Virgin), each of whom earned six percent of votes. Regardless of the leader who was named, the reasons why didn’t differ much. The most common themes were the leaders’ abilities to inspire people, their authenticity, their transparency, and their abilities to connect on a human level.
We also trust Google
Similarly, respondents were asked to provide a write-in answer for which company they trust most and why. Google, scoring eight percent of votes, edged out Starbucks, which was named six percent of the time. A common theme around Google was its customer focus. Google is “motivated to create useful products,” “is focused on the customer” and “values honesty.”
“Delivering consistently high quality products and customer service is the hallmark of a successful company, but in order to build enough equity to be named the most trustworthy, companies must bring something more to the equation,” added Weiss. “Google and Starbucks are ubiquitous and reliable, and both have very public social programs with which people like to align themselves.”
Other companies that received multiple write-in votes in the survey were American Express, Target, State Farm, Chick-Fil-A and Amazon.
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About Speakeasy, Inc.
For almost 40 years, Speakeasy has defined and pioneered executive communication. The growing and dynamic practice helps the global Fortune 500 impact markets by developing more powerful and strategic communication. Speakeasy instructors help executives discover, and better use, their unique communication capabilities. The Speakeasy team travels the globe for clients like Accenture, Coca-Cola, and Ernst & Young, and also works out of exclusive executive learning environments in San Francisco, New York, and Atlanta. Find out more at http://www.SpeakeasyInc.com.