Cultivating Integrity with AirBnB's Former Chief Ethics Officer Rob Chestnut

Aug. 11, 2020

Cultivating Integrity with AirBnB's Former Chief Ethics Officer Rob Chestnut

Cultivating Integrity with AirBnB's Former Chief Ethics Officer Rob Chestnut

“Too often companies don’t think about integrity. They have a pretty poster with their values and the word integrity with a sunset in the background. They send out their company’s code of ethics, but they ironically stole that code of ethics from another company online and they just stuck their logo on top.” - Rob Chestnut

“Integrity” is a buzzword that gets used by companies large and small, but how many companies are actually practicing intentional integrity? As today’s expert guest explains, defining integrity is difficult. Once understood as “telling the truth and keeping your word,” it was about following not just the letter but the spirit of the law. But in a moment when workplaces are becoming more diverse, global, and connected, silence about integrity creates ambiguities about right and wrong that make everyone uncertain, opening the door for the minority of people to rationalize selfish behavior.

Rob Chestnut has spent a 35 year legal career exploring and helping to enforce rules that we all live by. Most recently, Rob spent 4 years as Airbnb's General Counsel and Chief Integrity Officer, helping Airbnb navigate a complex regulatory framework as it grew into one of the world's leading hospitality companies. Today, Airbnb offers over 7 million accommodations and 40,000 handcrafted activities, all powered by local hosts. With more than half a billion guest arrivals to date, and accessible in 62 languages across 220+ countries and regions, Airbnb promotes people-to-people connection, community and trust around the world.

In today’s episode Rob reveals the way that his latest book, Intentional Integrity shows how smart companies can lead an ethical revolution in this fast-changing global environment we find ourselves in. 

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What You’ll Hear In This Episode: 

  • How Rob transitioned from working as a prosecutor to working for Airbnb [2:22]
     
  • What he says that employees should expect from the companies the work for today [9:28]
     
  • What is intentional integrity and its importance in corporate ethics [10:36]

  • The topic of sexual harassment and some steps you can take to avoid it in the workplace [13:49]

  • What is the psychology behind integrity [15:47]

  • The “6 C’s” of intentional integrity and why they are so important to companies and their employees [21:48]

  • The steps he recommends a company should take if they find themselves in a lapse of integrity, or where to start if they haven’t been intentional with integrity previously [28:23]

Additional Links & Resources:

Rob’s Latest Book, Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethica

Support the show (https://www.paypal.me/bravebydesign)

Transcript
Rob Chestnut :

Too often companies don't think about integrity. They have a pretty poster on the wall with their value or integrity with a sunset in the background. They send out their company's code of ethics. But they ironically probably stole that code of ethics from another company online and they just stuck

Laura Khalil :

their logo on top. Welcome to brave by design. I'm your host Laura Khalil. I'm an entrepreneur, coach and speaker. I love thinking bait, exploring the power of personal development and sharing the best strategies from thought leaders and pioneers in business to empower ambitious women and allies to bravely rise and thrive. Let's get started. Everyone, welcome to this episode of brave by design. I am so excited for today's guests actually think I'm so excited. I'm blowing up my microphone. I'm so excited. I can hear it in my ear. Rob chestnut was General Counsel and chief ethics officer with Airbnb. You might have heard of He's a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Virginia. Now, let me tell you a little bit about Rob. He handled the prosecution of CIA, FBI and other employees of the intelligence community for espionage, including CIA employee, Aldrich, Ames, I remember that many of us do. He is the recipient of the Justice Department's john Marshall award for litigation, and the CIA's outstanding service medallion. Now, you guys know I love spy stuff. But we're not here just to talk about that. Rob's book, intentional integrity is out right now. And we are going to get into it. Rob, welcome to brave by design.

Rob Chestnut :

Oh, thank you for having me. I appreciate well love that introduction. That's true.

Laura Khalil :

So Rob, well, you don't know about me is I love spy stuff. And I always try to get like CIA people on the show, just to you know, pique my own interest. And when I read that you were involved in that prosecution. I was Like, oh my gosh, this is so cool. So let's go the Wayback Machine if we can you started as a federal prosecutor, and then you found your way to Silicon Valley. But can you like tell us a little bit about your story because it seems a little surprising that you'd go from Aldrich, James and that prosecution all the way to ending up at Airbnb.

Rob Chestnut :

You know, prosecuting is fabulous. You meet a lot of interesting people that you would usually not hang out with in life. But you know, I did it for 10 years. And I got to the point where it can be a little negative. You're putting a lot of young people in prison for a long period of time. It's important work, it needs to be done. But I thought Do you know do I want to be doing this when I'm 50 or 60 years old? I'd rather do something positive, you know, feeling like I'm having a positive impact on the world and helping people be successful and so they don't end up getting in trouble. Right. Well, I was really lucky. While I was a prosecutor, I kept getting phone calls and messages about this little company in my jurisdiction. I was in Northern Virginia. Okay, everybody, they would want records they would want to know about prosecuting this company. I'm like, What is this company? The name of the company was AOL America Online. Now way, in order to help out other prosecutors who kept asking me questions about it, I went out and got one of these discs back in the olden Yes, mail out these disc. So I took out one of their disc I stuffed it in my computer, I plug my phone into the back of my computer. And I'm like, Wow, look at this internet thing. This is pretty cool. I think this is actually gonna be around for a while. And I started using some internet companies as kind of an early adopter. And one of the companies that I found was eBay. Okay. He asked me one night around midnight, it hit me. You know what, I'll bet eBay could use somebody like me. Illegal items, counterfeits. They've got

Unknown Speaker :

fraud they've got and this was in the 90s. They had all kinds of crazy stuff. They're they

Rob Chestnut :

the kidneys remember the barely used brain? They were Civil War era dirt. Yeah. You know, I thought wow, this might be a great fit. So I looked on their on their website. They didn't have any jobs available for lawyers. I didn't know where San Jose California was. I'd never been there before, but I figured it was California. So I sent them an email to jobs@ebay.com with my resume, it's totally gone. I'll never hurt next morning. That is a phone call. A week later, I'm having dinner with Meg Whitman. Ended up being employee 170 of eBay. And that sort of got me started in tech and

Laura Khalil :

internet. Wow. Okay, Rob, what was the weirdest thing you saw when you were at eBay?

Rob Chestnut :

All the way there were so many weird. We have 7 million items a day getting listed on that website. I started and ran their trust the Safety Department. Every time there was a weird one. I'd get the call. We're gonna do some woman is selling breast milk on the website. Can they do that? They are selling a ghost in a jar. They're selling the image of Virgin Mary on a piece of toast. I remember that one. Yeah, yeah, that was great.

Laura Khalil :

That kind of started. I don't know if it started, but it helps bring you more into this whole area of ethics. Integrity, like, what is the company supposed to do in that situation? Right.

Rob Chestnut :

I mean, I think our early reaction was, you know, we're only a platform. We're just running an internet machine here. We've got these servers, but we're not responsible, right. And what happened over time, was that the world just won't let you do that. Right. I say and then I talked about in the book, the idea there's a frame when you're running an internet company, it's got your logo, it's got your little twitter logo. It's got your little Facebook logo or your eBay logo, and it's your logo and your frame and whether you like it or not, The world is going to push you to take responsibility for what's in your brain. So I remember one that really struck me. Someone had gotten communion from the Pope. And instead of eating the wafers that they received directly from the Pope, they took the labor and they put it right in the pocket. They then go, of course, and put this way for on eBay. And my first reaction is, it's a way for right now, the catholic church started a boycott of eBay, whereas we were selling the body of Christ. That was how they viewed it, and I had to relook at it. The team had to take a look at it, we had to decide what do you do with items that are legal, but their sale is deeply offensive to some group? And we have looked at this with Nazi memorabilia, and what do you do with German World War Two uniforms, for example. And so we had to really think through what our approach is going to be and ultimately we decided that we would not permit the sale of a have items on eBay. And then of course you had to go through the process of figuring out what's offensive. The find that right? Yeah. And that's you know, it's funny the many of the numbers of that original eBay team back from that late 1999 to early 2000s. They're running the teams now at Facebook at you. There's they're still doing the same thing. It's just getting bigger and more complicated.

Laura Khalil :

That's incredible. Now, today, we're going to talk about corporate integrity, intentional integrity. And I know that there's people who are listening right now, when we hear us talking about ethics, corporations being good citizens, and I know there's people who are rolling their eyes thinking corporations, just really short book, right. make more money, make more money, make more money, that's our job. So what do you say to these skeptics? And why is integrity a value that we need to really take seriously as good corporate citizens?

Rob Chestnut :

Well, that's the old way of thinking. I think that's what we call 20th century companies. Because back in that Era companies, the CEOs in one job, and that is make money, anything they did could be justified by what they would call a shareholder value tribe. Right? Very convenient, since those same leaders were compensated with shares, so incentive works out

Laura Khalil :

for them.

Rob Chestnut :

Yeah. Well, the problem is the world is getting more and more connected. We're depending on each other more and more. And you see this with the pandemic, you see it with racial justice, the internet, you see the climate change, you can't stay in your lane anymore, because increasingly, your lane impacts others. So what the world is now coming to is a realization that we need companies to step up and help solve some of the world's biggest problems. Just making a buck isn't good enough. Because if you're all you're doing is making a buck, you're not thinking about the true cost of your actions on the rest of society. You know, if you're in the clothing business, you're not thinking about the fact that That someone on the other side of the world is making those pieces of clothing in horrible conditions, right? If you're running a factory, are you thinking about how your factory fails the air or the stream next to the factory? We need companies to think about this because increasingly, we are losing confidence in our government's ability to solve these problems. And all of us are looking to companies to fix this. And the pressure is actually coming from a number of interesting places, please, employees want to work for a company that they believe in, that aligns with their values. They view a company's brand as their own brand. And if they don't like what their own company is doing, in the old days, you know, of course, they were staying there for 30 years. Exactly. They wouldn't dare say a word, but today that they don't like it. They're going to talk about it on slack. They talk about it on blog. They're going to talk about it on Glassdoor. They're gonna tweet about it. They're gonna post they're gonna blow can't hide what's true. And Fowler did to over one person. Now employees have a global platform. And they're speaking out and they're walking out. And it's not just employees to customers. So we are in an age of conscious consumers, where a person is buying goods from a company and they find out that that company's got values that are different than their own personal values. Doesn't matter whether they like the beans in the cat, they're gonna say, you know, hire right a funding that company I'm gonna find another can of beans, because

Laura Khalil :

I don't believe I don't believe in your values. Yeah, you have this interesting quote you say 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 they throw up their hands about how to prevent them even though they can cost a company everything and I think that's it. I think that's why the book is so important because it's like, companies don't know what to do. They need guidance.

Rob Chestnut :

They're reacting. The one thing I learned about integrity, everybody thinks they've got it. Right. We all see the world through our own eyes.

Unknown Speaker :

And we rob, what do people think integrity is?

Rob Chestnut :

Right? Well, integrity is doing the right thing. And the right thing has to be some idea of doing something that is some that society would recognize as good. doing that, even when it's hard and doing it even when no one's watching. Now, the problem in today's world is someone's always watching, right and the idea of intentional integrity is that you're doing it with intentionality. That is you are picking your Northstar, you're clearly defining your purpose. And then you're actually putting effort into acting with integrity and being proactive with that. Too often companies don't think about integrity. They have a pretty powerful straw the wall with their value or integrity with a sunset in the background. They send out their company's code of ethics. But they ironically probably stole that code of ethics from another company online and they just stuck their logo on top. You know, intentional integrity is a lot more than that. It's about leadership stepping up and having a human authentic conversation with their employees and their investors about doing the right thing. The best thing about all this is that data is showing consistently doing the right thing actually is better for a company financially. Ethical companies outperform the market, they outperform their competitors. So if you're not actually charting this course for doing the right thing, you're not going to do the best by your investors either.

Laura Khalil :

You know, and I love how you talk about they put up you know, you get sent the code of ethics or you get sent to a training that they purchased from a third party vendor to go watch about what to do in a search. situation. And I've been in those trainings with clients and stuff. And it's kind of like in one ear, out the next you don't see anyone living and breathing it. And as we know from a lot of the research, and I'm going to speak specifically now about workplace harassment, we know that people don't go to HR women do not go to HR, because HR often cannot be trusted with the information or they retaliate. And I'd love for us to just talk a little bit about that, because I know you give so many examples in the book around these sorts of issues. I know that you talk a lot about how Airbnb came up with very specific codes of ethics for workplace conduct. I remember reading that you said the executive team was not allowed to have relationships with the employees. Right,

Rob Chestnut :

you know, wasn't one of the things when we were looking at the problem of sexual harassment. We looked at the inequality between a high level executive in a company and another employee employee, and we looked at over and over again how those sorts of relationships can be really poisonous to a company and greed, such brand damage. It's a horrible thing for the victims. I mean, imagine if your boss asks you out, the first thing you're thinking is what happens if I say No, exactly. So, you know, I walked into the executive team one day, and I said, You know what, this is blowing up a lot of companies, I propose that we make a pact among us that we will not date or have any romantic relationship or encounter with any employee or any vendor. And there was silence in the room permanent. One person said, Oh, Rob, we're all in serious relationships are married anyway. So that does. I said, a little judging from what I'm reading online. And everybody laughed, and I said, so I asked you again. I think this is a good idea. And we actually went around the room and each person looked at each other and said I met. So if we're really in I'm putting it in the code of ethics that a member of the executive team will not engage in a romantic relationship. And I said, Look, everybody, this means that if any of us violate this rule, that we're the ones that are going to be punished. We're the ones who are going to have to leave the company. We all understand that. Everybody said, Yeah. But it was a powerful thing to be able to tell the company that members of the executive team took this position now that we broke any hearts at all, making an announcement, I think we saw a powerful message that we're not going to be that type of a company, we're not going to abuse our position like that.

Laura Khalil :

And that brings up a really interesting point. You have a quote in the book that you say, ambiguity is the enemy of integrity. And I think that is so critically important. Tell us more about why that is.

Rob Chestnut :

No. I spent a little time with a behavioral scientist, the guy by name of Dan Ariely at Duke University. Great guy, really smart. has done TED talks on the subject of dishonesty and he has

Laura Khalil :

a number of books too.

Rob Chestnut :

got books, he's got a movie, and how many behavioral psychologists have a movie called? It's great. My whole team, we all watched it one night for moving, it's awesome. And what he taught me is, we all see the world around us. And we have a tendency to fudge a little bit in our favor. when presented with a particular situation, we tend to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt that it's interesting, actually, the more people that are particularly intelligent, or creative, or even more prone to this, because what you need to be able to do, all of us will do something so long as we can still feel good about ourselves, but after we've done it, and so can you rationalize your behavior to yourself? So the more creative you are, of course, the more able you are to come up with some great reason, right? Really, okay. That's why the answer to that is to remove ambiguity, to create an environment where everyone believes that everyone else is acting with intent. an environment where you're very specific. Like, if you're on the executive team, you may not engage in a romantic relationship with anyone in the company, not, you know, if it's consensual, alright, or use good judgment, because those sorts of things give you a lot of room to interpret it in ways that will benefit yourself. So remove ambiguity. Silence is another great enemy of integrity. If you don't talk about what integrity means you don't have any ground rules about the way you're all going to operate. You never mentioned it, that creates just a fertile ground for people to do what they think is right. And they're gonna always see it their way. Robert, you

Laura Khalil :

know, this brings up an interesting question. Where is the line and I know you've thought about this, where is the line between the intentional integrity of an organization and not running a company that is looking over the shoulders of their employees at every single thing they do? You know, I don't know. Potentially violating privacy or whatever it may be. Can you talk about walking that line?

Rob Chestnut :

For me, it's not about catching people, which may come as a surprise to us as I was a prosecutor. But the catching part is fun. And the catching parts, not what we're all about. I think what we're all about is creating an environment where everyone knows that integrity matters. And that doing the right thing really matters. And if you do that, then I think you don't need to be watching over someone's shoulder all the time. It's less looking over the shoulder and spying on people. And it's more about creating an encouraging positive environment where we all know that integrity really matters. And that's where I put focus.

Laura Khalil :

I love that. Okay, so let me put you in the hot seat for a second because let's use some of the examples that you discuss from Airbnb. We all have heard about some of the challenges that the company has faced in regards to Moving into communities and there being some resistance to being there there being housing stock depleted, you know, those types of issues. And you guys have had to face them.

Unknown Speaker :

Sure. So tell us a little bit about how you faced that.

Rob Chestnut :

You know, there have been a number of issues. Look, any company that has an impact on the world is going to have challenges. I talked about the issue of discrimination as well how are we facing him? And I think it's it's a deep belief that we have an obligation to address those issues and Airbnb believes that Airbnb is going in early on, for example, the company believe that we had to pay taxes who was right there. You know, whether you're having you know, if you're doing business in a community, you need to be involved in paying taxes, pay your fair share. So Airbnb is actually gone in and entered into tax agreements in hundreds of cities and counties all around the world, and paid huge sums of money to these governments because it's the right thing to do. Yeah, Airbnb has also looked at what is its true impact. on housing stuff. Now, I mean there I think everybody has a lot of competitors that would love for you to believe that the impact on housing stock is quite significant. And in fact, there's not any data that supports that. Now, there may be places in the world however, where it can have a small impact and in those places, Airbnb sat down with regulators and actually agreed, negotiated and agreed to limit its business model so that you do not have large numbers of permanent housing stock transformed into Airbnb s because that isn't the right thing for communities. Airbnb ultimately believes that if what you're doing isn't good for the community, then it's not a good long term sustainable business model. And Airbnb has to address those issues and unfortunately, the issues around Airbnb s impact on community vary quite a bit depending on the community take a place like Barcelona, before the pandemic Barcelona just had too many tourists when the housing stock issue. They just simply if you've ever been to Boston, I have Oh my goodness. If

Laura Khalil :

there's a lot of visitors,

Rob Chestnut :

what you can do is you can work with the Spanish government to identify what are five other small bar salons, places that are not getting the kind of attention that Barcelona gets, but would provide an even better experience for visitors because they are a little bit smaller and they can they do they want tourism if. So, Airbnb, I think has the power to actually help the world by moving some of the tourism around some of the more interesting places that perhaps aren't going to be as crowded. And Airbnb recognizes, I think that's part of their obligation as a business.

Laura Khalil :

What an incredible responsibility to have, you know, and to think about it in that way. So let's talk about intentional integrity. Talk to us a little bit about the six C's of intentional integrity.

Rob Chestnut :

Sure, well, it starts at the top of the CEO. If your CEO is not committed to acting with integrity, then you're lost and you can forget about the other seats because, again, if it's all about feeling good feel good about yourself. People take their cues from their leaders, right? If their leader does something, they look at it as well, they're doing it, then it must be okay for me to do it. It's also up to a leader to chart a course, for a company in the world to figure out who are their stakeholders. You know, we're now in an age of stakeholder capitalism, where companies have an obligation to look not just at their investors, but also with their customers and their employees and their communities. So you need to see who recognizes this broader obligation. So everything's got to start right there. You also need a code of conduct, not something that you've downloaded off the internet, and around, tell everybody to check a box and say you've read write, you actually need one that your employees participate in, and one that really reflects what's going on at your company, not something that you've taken from somewhere else. Another thing is you've got to communicate it. sending out an email doesn't work, what we did at Airbnb, we started at orientation and we did a one hour Talk at orientation about our ethics program. And I would run it as the general counsel. Okay. Some people say, Well, Rob, you know, you're the general counsel, you've got a lot of other issues going on. Yes. But it's so important that people hear from a leader, why not have fun when they join a company. I learned this from Meg Whitman, who used to when she was CEO of eBay, she would come to all the orientation classes, really, and she said, and she would do an hour talk with every new employee each week, because she thought it was so important that employees get a message right up front from a leader about this is the kind of company we want to operate.

Laura Khalil :

It really sets the tone.

Rob Chestnut :

It does, and people need to hear that and the reaction I got for these orientation classes more. It's incredible. It was the highest rated class in orientation. One woman came up to me just a few months ago, literally tears coming down her cheek, the other class and I said What's wrong? And she said, she told me that she came from another tech companies big tech company in the valley. She said that her boss kept proposition and she said she didn't trust the company to do anything about it. She actually had to leave the company came to Airbnb. That was her first week. As you look around, you have no idea what it means to come to a company in here right away from a leader, that that sort of aid is not going to be tolerated. She said, I believe you all mean it. Because you're standing there, right? You're telling me video? I didn't send a mid level HR manager. Yeah, we went and talked about it. We had a direct honest conversation about it right away means a lot to people. That's incredible. Yeah, that sort of stuff goes on over and over again. And I think what we need we need honest talk about real situations. I didn't talk to people about the law, you know what constitutes an uncomfortable? Right? So we would use real scenarios, the things that had actually happened at Airbnb. Yeah. And wow, I can tell I can look at everyone in the room and say you're gonna have an integrity moment. You're going to have something hit you sometime during your first year at Airbnb and you're gonna be ready for. And I'm going to give you examples of things that have actually happened. The whole training is scenario based. When we talk about alcohol, I had somebody come up to me in the lunchroom. And he said, I still remember what you told me three years ago with orientation. I'm like, What in the world and I said stuff. He said, he talked to me about drinking and work. And now that's a dangerous combination. And then a lot of people who get in trouble in workplaces, it actually starts by having too much alcohol. And I have a rule that I share with it during orientation. It's called Rob rule. Rob's rule is I never have more than two drinks in any work setting. And any work setting is whenever I'm with anybody from work, yeah. And why do I have that? Well, when I travel for work, I'm out visiting the different offices and we'll go out to dinner. enjoy having a local wine or local beers part of just getting to know Sure. And I know that I know can have two drinks maximum. And I know I'm not gonna do anything stupid. Yeah. But if you get more than that, my job's worth more than that. So it doesn't matter what it's a firm rule. That's what I'm going to do. Now I tell everybody, you don't have to adopt broad rule. That's your personal

Laura Khalil :

code of conduct.

Rob Chestnut :

You need your own personal code here. You know, maybe maybe you don't drink at all. Or maybe you don't ever drink with people from work. Or maybe you have a one drink Well, that's fine, too. But the worst time to think about how much alcohol to drink in a work setting is while you're drinking alcohol in a work setting. So think about in advance, make a rule and then live by,

Laura Khalil :

you know, what's interesting about that, Rob, is you making the rule and then there is communicating that and other people respecting your boundaries, right, which is also the other half of it is that people have to know Hey, don't push I know you talked a little bit in the book about this rule of if someone asks you out and you say, No, that's it. You don't keep

Rob Chestnut :

one I don't rule at Airbnb for anybody. So if you're a manager, you may not ask anyone in your chain and a lot other people you may ask out, but it's a one time. And if even if the person says, Oh, my dog say maybe some other time, you can ask again, as I tell people, I said, you still got one hope they can come back and ask you what actually respects the fact that we're here to get worked up. And we want you to be able to do your best. And you're not going to do your best if you feel like someone's chasing you at work, and that makes you uncomfortable. So you get to ask out once after that, you have to drop it.

Laura Khalil :

And I know there's so many women who are listening to this right now who have been in these situations. I remember being in these situations and it is so deeply uncomfortable, to always feel like you have to avoid someone or get away or wonder about how it's going to affect your career. I think this is incredible. Now,

Rob Chestnut :

rule is everybody knows what the boundaries are. Everybody's living by the same rules. And it actually I think creates a better work environment.

Laura Khalil :

I would think so too. So let's talk about companies who have had a fallout. We are in an era right now, of canceled culture. We've talked a lot about these lapses and integrity that big and small companies are experiencing. People are speaking out much more often and much more easily. As you said, they've got Yelp, they've got Twitter, they've got LinkedIn, they've got blog posts. So for a company that has gone through a lapse in integrity, maybe because they didn't actually explicitly state, what they did believe in, and what their values were, what happens with them, what do we recommend for people going through that type of crisis?

Rob Chestnut :

Now I talked to Dan Ariely about that as well. And what he told me is you need to see what we talked about as a strong reset. You're not going to be able to just ignore it, and sort of just try to do better as you go along. You need to acknowledge what happened. You need to have the self awareness to actually stand up and say we got off course we made a mistake. And it's very powerful. If you stand up as a leader and say, and I'm responsible for that, I didn't do a good job of communicating, it's my responsibility that we got off course. And it's my responsibility to make sure that we now get back on track. And here's what we're going to do. So I think you need a very open acknowledgement and a strong reset if you're going to recover from these sorts of situations. And it takes time. I mean, the data shows that people have long memories about these problems. And also, I think there could be a little bit of piling on so after they hit you wants, they'll be watching. But you need that strong acknowledgement reset. And a real effort to overcome it and go the other way now and it has to come from the top. Yeah, I

Laura Khalil :

one thing I mean, first of all the books fantastic. And one of the things I love is you really give so many examples in the book over and over and I love you talk about Starbucks, what happened in 2018 with them, to your point right from the top, they said This is unacceptable. And to your point about ambiguity, they said we were unclear about what our rules are We have to be more clear. And I appreciate all these examples, because for folks who are considering getting the book, this really grounds it in a practical research practical case studies that you can say, Oh, yeah, I remember that. How did they deal with that?

Rob Chestnut :

If you're looking for Socrates and Plato, it's not for you. Of it's a lot of good practical example is for anybody, or for any organization that really desires to have integrity as part of their organization or even their personal life, but they're not quite sure how to get there. And the book tries to give you a lot of practical examples of the best ways to work, your work are softer that

Laura Khalil :

so we're up to four questions for you. Second, the last question for a company that has not really been intentional about integrity. Maybe that's just been an afterthought. And where do you recommend? They begin? What do you recommend they begin thinking about how can one begin

Rob Chestnut :

so that you begin with a conversation, what we firstly it start at the top. Because again, if the leader of the company doesn't care about it, then you won't get anywhere. But if it's something that the leader is interested in and understands why it's important, I think that a leader can often learn quite a bit from their employees. I recommend against what I call the Moses tactic where one person goes off, writes their code, and then comes down and tells everybody, here's the way it's gonna be. Because we're all different law. I mean, we all come from different socio economic backgrounds, different cultures, we learned a lot, and Airbnb, by getting a group of people together from different not only different parts of the world, but also different disciplines. You know, a finance person and a marketing person and a customer support person may look at the same situation very differently. So I think it's about starting a conversation. We're getting a team together to puzzle out some of these things and figure out who you really are as a company.

Laura Khalil :

I love it. Rob. Any last words for the audience, any advice, any takeaways you want to leave them with?

Rob Chestnut :

Integrity really matters today more than ever, because the world needs it. We see it when we look all around. And we all play a role in it, as leaders in companies, a heads of HR heads of legal CEOs, and even as consumers in the choices that we make, but things aren't going to change unless all of us step up and recognize how important this is to the world. So I think making integrity, something that's part of your life, and part of the way that you act professionally and in your personal life, it makes a big difference. And the great thing about Lauren is integrity is contagious. If you're acting with integrity, it actually rubs off on you. And so we can all set an example by doing the best we can none of us are perfect. We all make mistakes, but we can have a real impact on others.

Laura Khalil :

That is incredible. The book is intentional integrity, how smart companies can lead an ethical revolution. It is available now. Wherever you get books, Rob chestnut, thank you so much for joining us on brave by design. Thanks I want to thank you for joining me and remember to subscribe to your favorite app so you can stay up to date, and I would love your review. If you've enjoyed this episode, please leave a review and comment on Apple podcasts. You can also keep in touch with me online. You can find me on LinkedIn and I'm also on Instagram at force of badassery. All that information will be available in the show notes. Until next time, stay brave