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Apr 23, 2020

It is an understandably frightening time for all of us because nothing like this has happened in our lifetime.

The measures we are taking are unprecedented in recent history - -hospitals are overwhelmed, businesses are being categorized as life-sustaining/essential businesses or non-essential businesses, people are quarantined, schools are closed, sports teams aren’t playing, vacations are canceled, family gatherings rescheduled. Businesses and individuals are being faced with the decision to weigh risk based on personal harm and the greater good.

 It is a time where we need trusted leadership. Yet at a time when we need to have trust we don’t.  The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that despite a strong global economy and near full employment before the pandemic, none of the four societal institutions that the study measures—government, business, NGOs and media—is trusted. Government, more than any institution, is seen as least fair; 57 percent of the general population say government serves the interest of only the few, while only 30 percent say government serves the interests of everyone. Edelman explains that the cause of this paradox can be found in people’s fears about the future and their role in it, which are a wake-up call for our institutions to embrace a new way of effectively building trust: balancing competence with ethical behavior.

The guest on today’s episode is Dr. Jessica Foster. She’s a Partner with RHR International and serves as Global Leader for the company’s Executive Bench practice area. She is an expert at recognizing, developing and positioning executives for leadership roles. 

Jessica is an industrial psychologist and previously served as a professor of industrial and organizational psychology at Purdue University. Her research, teaching, and speaking engagements are focused in the areas of employment testing, gender and leadership, executive performance and emotional regulation, and work-life balance. Jessica received her doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology from Rice University in Houston, and she holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Davidson College in North Carolina.