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#1 Indicator of Success for CEO Founders

The #1 Key Performance Indicator of a Successful CEO Founder

Founders and C-Suite executives, you have now reached the top of the mountain. Trust is the single-most important Key Performance Indicator (KPI) contributing to brand loyalty, client retention, and employee satisfaction. After all, the lifeline of any company is its employees and clients.

So what exactly is Trust?

Trust is the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. We can take that Trust and apply it to corporations, too, and corporate Trust is built by the company “presenting” itself and telling its story so stakeholders know what it stands for.

Employees are responsible for the culture, innovation, servicing clients, and running the day-to-day operations of a business. So, attracting and retaining top talent is quintessential for any top-tier organization. The clients purchasing products and services generate the revenue necessary for the sustainability and reinvestment fueling a company’s growth.

How do you attain Trust?

One of the best practices for creating trust is adherence to the golden principle: “Do What You Say”. As simple as it sounds, many organizations find it hard to do. We all strive to do the right thing and balance our workload, tasks, and to-do lists. Reality is, in both business and in life, perfection does not exist. From time to time, a process may need tweaking, a commitment may be unachievable, or a deadline may need to be extended.

What do you do? How do you handle situations that may require a break of commitment? The answer is to provide transparency and immediately communicate when a commitment changes. Reset expectations, use this opportunity to turn a negative into a positive and be proactive versus reactive. In that situation, when you are being honest and truthful, an organization shows its integrity and Trust is built as a result.

Given the intertwined nature of trust and corporate reputation, the ever-so popular grocery store chain Trader Joe’s is the perfect trust exemplar. Trader Joe’s boasts a Net Promoter Score of 62 (anything over 50 is considered excellent) and a Glassdoor ranking of #35 for Best Places to Work, showing just how strong a reputation it has. What exactly has Trader Joe’s done to gain this glowing reputation and cult following? It started from within: the employees.

Trader Joe’s culture and values set standards and engage employees, which in turn make employees happy. Calling store managers “captains” and staff “mates, merchants, and crew” is one of the many lighthearted ways the company keeps its over 40,000 employees smiling. That’s a lot of smiles! And those merchants, mates, and captains? All promoted internally. Every single one of them. The laid-back, autonomous, playful culture is continuously woven through the company, from the bottom to the top.

As we know, happy employees make happy customers, but Trader Joe’s does even more to maintain a positive reputation. To keep the customer experience simple and convenient, Trader Joe’s says no to reward cards and coupons. Even more impossible to believe in grocery retail, it doesn’t even have sales on its products. In fact, in its FAQ, Trader Joe’s wrote, “’Sale’ is a four-letter word to us”! No price wars. No BOGOs. No kidding. The price you see is the price you’ll get. Every. Time. But here’s yet another reason why customers trust the grocery chain: Even without sales, Trader Joe’s always provides high-quality, low-price products.

Trust being Transparency’s last KPI is no coincidence. By following the first 5 Transparency KPIs, each building on the prior ones, a company (or person) leads itself directly to Trust, and more specifically for a company, employee and customer Trust. In other words, attaining that Trust is a product of successfully building a Transparent Mindset.