In 2017, ride-sharing innovator, UBER was in serious trouble. The company was facing a lawsuit from drivers that alleged the first had cheated them of pay. Various media reports described UBER as having a “asshole culture: where women were sexually harassed and the firm’s CEO, Travis Kalanick was caught on video berating an UBER driver.

Seeking someone to help restore UBER’s imperiled reputation – not to mention help create a sustainable workplace culture going forward – the company selected Harvard Business School’s Frances Frei as its SVP for leadership and strategy.

Perhaps the main reason UBER sought out Frei is because the cornerstone of her leadership philosophy is the belief that trust is the foundation of everything we do.

Frei has since performed extensive research on trust – how to establish it, sustain it and even re-build it – and went on to share her findings in a TED talk that’s now been viewed nearly five million times.

All distilled, Frei says there really are only three component parts of trust; and if we “wobble” in any one of them, we put ourselves in harm’s way:

(1) Authenticity:  People trust us more if they sense we are being authentic with them.

(2) Rigorous Logic: We’re trusted when people respect the process we use to arrive at our decisions, & when we communicate them effectively.

(3) Empathy:  Trust is lost when people feel we focus mostly on ourselves – not on them.

Just this week, Frei published her new book, Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide To Empowering Everyone Around You,” co-written with Anne Morriss. And we’re honored to help them launch it.

In this podcast then, we go deep into Frei’s discoveries and explore how each of us can earn and sustain greater trust will all of the people in our lives.  What makes this episode so additionally compelling is Frie’s remarkable blend of intellect and compassion. As you’ll hear, she has both an extraordinary leadership mind, and an extraordinary leadership heart.

As of February 2023, this is the fourth most downloaded episode of the podcast series.

By Mark C. Crowley

Mark C. Crowley is the author of Lead From The Heart: Transformational Leadership For The 21st Century which has been taught in 11 American universities. He is a global speaker, leadership consultant and thought leader on the topics of workplace culture and employee engagement.