The Facebook File: When Trust Implodes

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The recent Facebook IPO is a great illustration of what happens when trust implodes. Investors are burned, regulators are asleep and management is suspect. What’s the answer for the market, in light of the Facebook Fumble?

First off: a little disclosure, before you jump to the video clip.

I’m not a fan of FOX NEWS. The story is always too one-sided for my tastes. But one voice that seems to provide calm and reason, even in the midst of some of the sensationalism, is Jeffrey Hayzlett.

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When trust implodes, the effects are many – as Hayzlett identifies in this segment. Unfortunately for investors, unhitching your money is not as easy as withdrawing your trust.

The economic climate continues to challenge, and those that point to signs of recovery need to spend equal time recognizing the amount of desperation surrounding the Facebook IPO. Desperate times continue to produce desperate acts, and the SEC and other regulatory groups seem powerless (or asleep) regarding the solution. And, to be fair, I don’t claim to have a magic formula for the situation. I’m not close enough to offer a deep insight into unscrewing the Facebook screw-up.

But how about a quick message on something we can all control?  We can all control the amount of honesty we include in our stories.  Believe me, it’s a rare element these days.

Who can you trust?

Ultimately, actions speak louder than words. When organizations that we trust defy our confidence, there is no amount of verbal jujitsu that can make it right. While I can’t fix Facebook, or the SEC, or FOX NEWS for that matter, let me offer the change that I can contribute.

In your next presentation or pitch, ask yourself this question:

What’s the most honest thing you can say, right now? Then, phrase your answer in terms of others. Being honest with yourself is great, but it’s not enough to stop there. Share the truth, if you want it to mean something.

In the midst of heavy fire from an angry crowd? Meeting some skepticism? The only antidote for anger is honesty. That’s what Hayzlett provides, and that insight is instantly captivating.

In a recent presentation in Dallas, Hayzlett asked a marketing exec from Facebook, “Who do you see as your competition – What company or companies keep you awake at night?”

The Facebook marketer offered some spin on how Facebook doesn’t really focus on the competition, spending its time focusing on improving the user experience.

What the Plus?” said all of God’s children in unison. Then, everyone in the room mouthed the words, “Google” and  “is your competition”.

The elephant in the room was starting to smell funny. And of course Hayzlett Googled Google, right there in front of everyone – even before you could say, “timeline”.

Facebook, I love ya. Let me be clear. You are my favorite way to embarrass myself online. While social media is great, I think that there’s something greater. It’s honesty.

If you’re looking for a way to make a difference in your message, start with the most candid thing you can say. Honesty is the most intriguing element you can include in your presentation or pitch right now. Probably because it’s hardly ever heard.

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