Credibility Nation: For Professionals Who Want to Be Seen as Credible

Credibility Nation: For Professionals Who Want to Be Seen as Credible




Summary: A credibility workbook for small businesses who want to build their know-like-and-trust factor.

Credibility Nation

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Do you think that there is more or less trust and trustworthiness in the world? I’m going to guess that your answer is that there is less trust today than there was even a few years ago.

And you would be right.

This is the question at the root of a new book by Mitchell Levy, Credibility Nation: For Professionals Who Want to Be Seen as Credible

Like the proverbial frog in the pot of water, we’ve been experiencing continuous and consistent decreases in trust over the last few decades. 

According to  The Edelman Trust Barometer, trust lies at the intersection of competence and ethics.  Edelman has been measuring our levels of trust over the last 20 years and what they’ve found isn’t pretty. The good news is that business is seen as being relatively competent while not being as strong in the area of ethics.

One Man’s Fight for Credibility

Author, Mitchell Levy is a Global Credibility Expert. He has interviewed over 500 thought leaders from across the world on their credibility. This led him to uncover amazing insights on what credibility really is and why it’s important in today’s world, making him the go-to expert on credibility.

Mitchell has been a Thought Leadership Evangelist for 25 years and TEDx/ Commencement speaker. He sat as a chairman of the board of a NASDAQ-listed company. Mitchell is an International bestselling author of over 60 books and has created twenty businesses in Silicon Valley including four publishing companies that have published over 850 books.

In  Credibility Nation, Levy is on a mission to turn up the volume on credibility by calling all business owners to join the credibility movement and take a credibility pledge to be a part of Credibility Nation.

Take The Credibility Pledge

The first page of the book features this credibility pledge. 


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I pledge to live credibly every day without hate in my life.

I strive to be a good human and make this a better planet for myself, my family, and for other people’s families in this generation and the next.

By placing this pledge on the first page of the book, the author highlights the mission of the book and the vision he has for all business owners to stand on the front lines of what he describes as a war on credibility.

This isn’t an academic book, nor is it that much of a thinking book.  It’s a doing book and the doer is you.

In other words, this book is written for those business owners who have noticed this increased need to prove your credibility as a business and who want to look for creative ways to implement credibility strategies across their organization no matter the size.

How to Read Credibility Nation

Credibility Nation is probably one of the most interactive books I’ve seen.  To be honest there isn’t much reading to do.  You can probably go through the entire 180+ pages inside of 30 minutes. This is by design.  All of Levy’s books are written that way.

There are numerous interactive features you might like such as the interactive thought summaries at the end of each chapter.  I’m not sure if they were designed for this – but I like to look at them as prompts that you can use for how you will apply the Credibility Nation principles and then share them on social media — expanding the credibility movement to your community. 

There are also numerous links to audio and video content.  This is Levy’s way of covering all the different learning modalities; auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. 

There are More Aha’s Where That Came From

Credibility Nation is just one of a series of books published by Levy’s publishing company, ThinkAha! Levy himself has published dozens of books on thought leadership including Hey, Did You AHAthat?: Thought Leadership in Seven Seconds or Less! Build Your Brand with AHAthat! and, BEing Seen and BEing Heard as a Thought Leader: What’s Necessary for Individuals and Businesses to Transition from the Industrial Age to the Social Age

ThinkAha! is more than a publishing resource.  This web resource contains dozens of free resources on thought leadership. 

Credibility Nation is a DIY Effort

If you’re looking for specific credibility-building tactics, you won’t find them here.  Levy shows you the structure, the model, probing questions, and the system. But what you do with all of this is up to you. And this is what might make this book a bit challenging for some readers. 

Why Read Credibility Nation

If you’ve recognized the steady decline in trust and credibility in your industry or business, and you want to do something about it, Credibility Nation is a great resource to use with your team.


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The Road to Integrityis Paved With Good Intentions

The Road to Integrityis Paved With Good Intentions




A treatise for leaders who are looking for ways to infuse their values and integrity into their organization.

Intentional Integrity

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When the Penn State “Sandusky” scandal hit the news, I sat down and cried.

During my junior and senior years, I worked for the football office. Paterno was insane about integrity.  If a player didn’t have a 3.0 on Friday night, he didn’t play on Saturday. If a player got in trouble, the team had to clean the stadium after the game. I can go on, but I won’t because Penn State leadership’s lapse in integrity decimated a century’s worth of hard-earned reputation.

“Most companies think they have integrity, until they get exposed by data, skewered by the press, boycotted by customers, dropped by investors, and protested by their own employees. They’ll punish and apologize for transgressions but throw up their hands about how to prevent them — even though they van cost a company everything.” — Robert Chestnut

You Can’t Outsource Integrity

Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethical Revolution by Robert Chestnut is a brand new book, released in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  And this is a perfect time because corporations and their communications strategies have been disrupted like never before.

According to Chestnut, corporate ethics have been tested sorely, as he notes in an updated chapter on leading with integrity during a crisis.

“Suddenly business leaders had to answer questions on the fly. How to handle layoffs, adapt to customer expectations and shifting government requirements, and to transition entire workforces online?”

This crisis pointed out how important it is to have a culture of integrity.  For example, if one of your values is employee safety, then it’s a lot easier to make decisions about whether to prioritize profitability or employee health benefits.


Rob Chestnut’s Relationship With Integrity

The author started his career as an attorney with the U.S. Justice Department.  He was an Assistant US Attorney in Northern Virginia.  As a federal prosecutor he ran the Major Crimes Unit where he prosecuted a wide range of crimes including CIA employee Aldrich Ames who was prosecuted for espionage.

In 1999, Chestnut shifted his career and joined the private sector.  First with eBay where he got involved in fraud detection and prevention.  Then he joined LiveOps, Chegg and most recently, AIrbnb where he grew the legal team from 30 to over 150 and started the “Integrity Belongs Here” program to drive ethics throughout the culture of the company.

It’s Never Too Late for Integrity

In Intentional Integrity, Chestnut strives to show leaders that integrity isn’t a roadblock to getting things done, but a “potential superpower.” The book shows you how you can set the tone and set an example with your words and actions.

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When leaders embrace that integrity and responsibility are important elements of your job.

Your employees are a reflection of who you are and what you do.  And when you practice intentional integrity, there’s a ripple that goes throughout your company and into the community.  Being integrity consistently over time, will ultimately build trust and give your organization a long-term advantage.

The 6Cs Process is a Roadmap Toward Intentional Integrity

To infuse integrity into your organization, Chestnut proposes the 6Cs process and this is what the entire book is devoted to.  Each chapter is one step of the 6Cs process.

  1. Chief: If the CEO of the company doesn’t embrace integrity, you can stop there.
  2. Customized Code of Ethics: Assuming your CEO has a level of integrity, your next step is to publish a code of conduct.
  3. Communicating the Code: This means regular and varied types of communication of the code throughout the organization.
  4. Clear Reporting System: Make it easy for employees to report ethical lapses.
  5. Consequences: The integrity code must be enforced.
  6. Constant: The last “C” is about being constant, consistent, pervasive, ubiquitous — yes, everywhere and all the time throughout your organization.

Is There Hope for Integrity?

On the first day of “Business Law” in graduate school, the professor walked in. Plopped his briefcase on the desk and then sat on the desk, with his legs dangling over the edge and asked: “Do you know why we have lawyers?”

The entire class sat in silence.

He waited for a few seconds and then said “We have lawyers because people are no damned good.”

When he said “people are no damned good” he didn’t mean that people were “bad” or “evil”.  What he meant was that people didn’t behave with integrity; they would say one thing and do something else.  They would promise to do something and not do it.  People would say they valued something and then act like they actually value something completely different.

Integrity vs Ethics

In Intentional Integrity, the author combines ethics and integrity into one package. I’m not sure that is entirely fair and accurate.

We understand integrity to mean “honesty”.  But the true foundational meaning of integrity means to be whole and undivided.  In other words, at its core, integrity means that your actions match your values.

I posit that CEOs (especially of large enterprises) have integrity (meaning that their behavior is consistent with their values).  But not all leaders have ethics, which are moral principles that guide behavior.

And this book is written for those CEOs who are committed to having their ethics reflected in their values and those values be clearly communicated throughout their organization — thereby creating INTEGRITY (being whole and undivided).

What’s Odd About This Book

I would say Intentional Integrity is the motherhood and apple pie of leadership books.

But, to be honest, it’s preaching to the choir.  The people who will most enjoy this book are the people who are already running their business with a high level of ethics and integrity,  And these people will get a roadmap toward shifting your values and ethics out of your head and throughout your organization.

In some ways, it’s like Chestnut is writing to those people who may have strayed from the ethical straight and narrow. Maybe it’s people who have started their business with high-minded values, but who have been challenged by the complexities and impossible choices between people and profits.

Ultimately, the message underneath Intentional Integrity is that ethics and integrity count. And that one simple lapse in judgment can decimate the business you’ve worked so hard to build.


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Leading with gratitude – initiating gratitude practice

Leading with gratitude – initiating gratitude practice




A handbook for new and experienced managers.

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Leading with gratitude

When I feel "meh", by default I am looking for something that I am thankful for. It doesn't take long for me to be in awe and wonder about the simplest things. Take your smartphone as an example. Every question was answered with a swipe of the finger! The roof over my head, the cup of coffee I drink. The possibilities for gratitude are endless.

It turns out that gratitude is not only great for making me feel better, but also more powerful as a lever than I ever imagined.

This week is Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton <! – ->

Trench poles for carrots

Presented by the authors of The Carrot Principle and The Orange Revolution Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton have found the easiest and most basic way to access and engage employees, gratitude.

Co-founder of The Culture Works, a global training company. Both authors are experts in work culture and leadership.

I received this book for review and had left it there for a while. I didn't know that I would have much more time to read due to a health crisis, and this book offered the perfect performance for employees with financial constraints.

After all, gratitude is fred. <! – ->

When walking gets tough, you become grateful

The beginning of the book begins with an inspiring story from Garry Ridge, the CEO of WD-40. During the economic crisis of 2008, he used a policy: "No lies, no fakes, no hidden talks." He committed himself not to fire a single person or to give up a single service. He also instructed managers to lead with gratitude by showing sincere appreciation.

He took the lead, managers followed suit and in 2010 the company reported its best year yet.

I assume you can say that difficult times require desperate measures. But the results that Ridge experienced in 2010 are not the accomplishments that most companies achieved at the time. <! – ->

In other words, gratitude may not be a recourse in difficult times, it may be a leadership style.

The survey says: Showing gratitude is an essential leadership skill

The authors conducted a 200,000-person study that showed that managers who were thankful for excellent work led teams with higher business metrics. This included twice the profitability of their colleagues and 20% higher customer satisfaction.

If you consistently show genuine gratitude to your employees or team, they will feel more positive about their work and will be less stressed. And the results reflect this.

The myths that hold back leaders

The book also deals with popular leadership and management myths. And I have to admit that they surprised me. Not because they were listed as myths, but because companies continue to build on those beliefs and encourage managers who practice them.

Would you like to know what they are?

"Fear is the best motivator" and "People are praised far too much these days."

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But here is the best: the authors state that nobody believes that they lead with fear, and yet their survey showed that 30% of managers believe that fear is sometimes effective.

With more and more millennials in the workforce, managers are complaining that they want praise. This is a misnomer. What millennials are looking for is instant feedback on the impact they are having.

Implementation of a tour based on gratitude

Starting a gratitude practice can be challenging or even turn out to be fake.

If you subscribed to the myth "fear is good" and "too much praise is bad", your team will think that you have been kidnapped and traded with an alien.

The authors recommend speaking to your team and explaining that you recognize that it is time for a change. It could also be helpful to acknowledge that you have your head bowed and set a punishment schedule to focus on the results – and that this has put excessive strain on the team.

In fact, the entire book focuses on the process of showing gratitude and incorporating it into your leadership style.

Here are a few more;

  • Request and respond to submissions

  • Accept positive intentions

  • Walk in their shoes

  • Search for Small Profits

  • Tailor-made for the individual

  • Strengthening core values ​​

  • Encourage peer-to-peer

Pay attention to your preconceived notions

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to incorporating gratitude into your leadership practice is the fraud syndrome or the feeling that you are inadequate in your own abilities.

You are unlikely to praise others if you feel inadequate or weak.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Treat yourself to a break. Then practice opening your own mind to your employees and their skills. Don't let your preconceived ideas about yourself and your employees get in the way.


Leading with gratitude is the ideal read in uncertain times. The CEO stories it contains as well as helpful tips from the authors make this book a book that you can read, practice and implement both in your company and in your life.


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