There is a survey for everything, it seems. One of them annually measures public trust in leaders and institutions. It’s called the Edelman Trust Barometer. Clever, right? A barometer tells you if a storm is coming.
A big storm is coming. When trust fades, legitimacy follows. When legitimacy fades, revolutions occur in bad times, that reverse the good times that are always promised by leaders.
In 2013, the index revealed that in 2012 only 18% of the people surveyed around the world believed that business and political leaders will tell the truth in a crisis.
This indicates a great deal of wisdom on the part of the masses.
Mr. Edelman said this: “We’re clearly experiencing a crisis in leadership. Business and governmental leaders must change their management approach and become more inclusive by seeking the input of employees, consumers, activists and experts such as academics, and adapting to their feedback. They must also pass the test of radical transparency.” Also, pigs should fly.
Half the people trust businesses to do the right thing. But they do not trust business leaders to tell the truth. Actions speak louder than words. As former Attorney General and convicted felon John Mitchell put it: “Watch what we do, not what we say.” The prosecutors did just that. He went to prison. People think systems work better than leaders do. This is what saves the systems.
The trust gap between institutions and leaders is largest in the USA and China: 35 percentage points in the USA, and 47 percentage points in China.
Trust is a little higher for some institutions. The media are trusted by 57%. Business is trusted by 58%. But few people say they trust business and government a great deal: about 17%.
Read the press release. It is a masterpiece of incoherence. Frankly, it is so poorly written that it does not inspire confidence in Mr. Edelman. Why doesn’t he hire someone who can write coherently? All that money to do the survey, and so little to hire a decent writer.