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Building Trust in a Crisis ft. David Horsager

One of our favorite guests is back this week! David Horsager joins us to talk about building trust in a pandemic, how leaders communicate during times of change, and his new book, Trusted Leader.

Tell us about your new book.

I am super excited about it, its called Trusted Leader. It’s a special book to me for many reasons, the Trust Edge came out almost a decade ago, and that book was really research driven and takeaway driven. But this next book is sharable. The first half is a fun engaging parable to shift thinking about trust. And the second half are these new ideas and takeaways that we can use a leaders to build trust right away. 

Okay the book is called “Trusted Leader”, that’s kinda a hot topic in the past year…

Here’s the deal, our fastest opportunity to build trust is in crisis. It’s also our fastest opportunity to lose it. I have watched senior leaders earn trust in this time through their response and I’ve also watched people lose trust in this time. And they lose it or gain it fast. I believe trust is the leading indicator, the only reason you follow a leader is trust, all of the other reasons lag behind. Leadership issues are really trust issues. I’ve seen senior leaders build trust while laying off 2,000 people, and I’ve seen people lose trust that haven’t had to lay off anyone. 

What are some examples of leaders building trust in the pandemic?

Yes, I talk about getting granular to the ‘How’. But change is a time to go back to the ‘Why?’. I’m talking about the ‘why’ of the change. If leaders just communicate the ‘why’ they can garner trust. One senior leader here in Minnesota had to do this. He rolled out the why for change, he got authentic, and shared his hope for hiring everybody back and he basically has now. But even while he laid them off it was a MasterClass in doing it in a trusted way. Leading with empathy and all these things, but sharing the why of the change. You need to over-communciate the ‘why’ in the middle of change. 

When you go through times of uncertainty, how do you deal with that? Ask, what can I do, and then, what should I do first? And in the past year, so many people have been uncertain and need to be asking these questions. One thing a lot of leaders did during this time was getting their priorities down to just one. In times of conflict and change, bring it down to one thing. 

 What does your latest research on trust show?

The 2021 Trust Outlook has just been released.  One of the big findings is to lead with empathy, not just with kindness, but lead the conversation with empathy. To put our feet in other shoes. But, we also have been looking at how to build trust in the midst of remote work. The impact of virtual. Introverts are sharing more, and CEOs were communicating more than they ever had. But everything has a life cycle and people are craving face-to-face. We are in relational human community world, and even introverts are craving face-to-face! What have you found about how to connect?

No matter what, virtual does not replace in-person. I think a big thing now is ramifying virtual events for engagement. But, in general I don’t think there is one great answer. What about you?

In my experience, a lot people think polling is great. But I would throw that out the window- because it gives people the chance to have lag time. If there’s lag that takes away the engagement. I would say chat rooms and breakout rooms are great when they are short. Keeping things fast-paced and engaging. I also like to get people both kinestically and verbally engaged. 

Finally, our team created a website for Meeting Minds listeners it’s www.trustedleaderbook.com/meetingminds

MasterClass trainings are also available! 

Trust is earned everyday and if you do something better everyday leaders can change everything – sales, community, culture, etc. 



Emotional Intelligence for Event Planners ft. Rich Bracken

Did you know that event planners have the fifth-most stressful job in the country? If you can relate to that, make sure you listen to this week’s episode featuring keynote speaker, Rich Bracken. He explains how you can leverage EQ to promote personal and professional happiness.

Turn Your Setback Into a Comeback ft. Courtney Stanley

Kick off the new year with some wisdom! This week, event speaker Courtney Stanley joins the podcast to talk about growth in a difficult year, building confidence, and 2020 as the year of hindsight. Make sure you check it out!

What is your background?

I have been in the industry for a decade now. I stepped in with intention. I interned at the Country Music Association and helped with the CMA awards but long story short I worked as a corporate event planner, worked for an event tech, and most recently worked for political org based in Michigan that works to pass laws that protect environment and public health. But, in 2020 I took the leap to be a full-time public speaker. 

What are helpful transition strategies you’ve used in this year?

I started out this year and I felt pretty good, there was good cash flow. I was obviously stressed, and having fear of the unknown. And in March literally 80% of my contracts cancelled. I was annoyed with myself that I had chosen this time to start my venture, and it took a lot of work to reconfigure what my year would look like. I needed to go back to the ‘why’ of when I went off on my own. I needed to get back to the heart of my launchpad and what I was basing my business on – which was creating meaningful content and starting meaningful conversations. And to help people seize silver linings. The strategy that really worked for me was to just connect with people. Over the off months I just built my brand and come August my schedule blew up. It can work to pivot and I can’t imagine what 2021 is going to be like. 

What advice to you have for those that didn’t have a strong financial and professional year?

First, it is not unusual to find yourself in a place of unemployment and there is a stigma around losing your job. It is difficult and makes you question your value and makes you question your career but my advice is this all happens for a reason and although its cheesy its true. There is a lesson to be learned. So, my best advice is to focus on yourself and learn a lesson and focus on your skills and think about tings you wanna grow into. This is an opportunity This year wasn’t fun but there were so many lessons along the way. 2020 is the year of hindsight.

What are ways people can affirm their worth in limited circumstances? 

There are things you can do to root yourself in your sense of worth. I do career and confidence coaching and some of the exercises help you identity your core drives, what are you most afraid of and what do you most seek. The first step in building your confidence is knowing who you are. Confidence is presenting who you are to the world. I also use the “High-five” assessment, telling you your strengths and showing you how these five things make you unique and puts words to your strengths. After doing these the real work starts and making sure you hit pause when you hear your inner-critic and feel you have imposter-syndrom. Also, making sure your circle and the people you surround yourself with are positive influences.

Final words of motivation for listeners? 

I would tell listeners to consider this a restart. Our industry is going to make a massive comeback in Q2 or Q3 of this year. So, start making new goals and make this a new opportunity to grow and level-up in ways you wouldn’t have otherwise. Turn a setback into a comeback. 


Ditch Your Business-to-Boring Mentality ft. Tim Glomb

We are bringing in the new year with Tim Glomb, VP of Content and Data at Cheetah Digital! Tim shares how to get outside your comfort zone, fuel creativity, and create a head-turning event. Make sure you check it out!

Make Your Next Virtual Event ‘Sketchy’ ft. William Warren

William Warren, founder and CEO of The Sketch Effect, joins the podcast this week. He talks about the power of visual learning, creating memorable experiences, and how drawings can take your virtual or hybrid event to the next level. You won’t want to miss this one!