Trust Enables Focus

Is your culture rooted in trust?

Summary
Transcript

In this backstage interview from Leadercast Women 2019, Susan Packard, co-founder of Scripps Networks Interactive and former COO of HGTV, explains how a culture rooted in trust encourages a team’s focus. 

“I found that trust was the most powerful emotion at HGTV because it helped us to work quickly with focus,” says Susan. “I came into HGTV not in a trustworthy place. I came in in a very protective place. But the group [was] the easiest people to build trust with… It was all about putting the best product we could on the air being respectful to our clients and our viewers.”

Watch the video to hear an example of how HGTV’s culture and leadership worked to instill trust in its staff.

I found that trust was the most powerful emotion at HGTV because it helped us to work quickly with focus. I didn't come into the organization as a trusting person. In fact, the place I had worked before no one trusted anyone. And everyone was siloed and there were all these fiefdoms.

So I came into HGTV not in a trustworthy place. I came in in a very protective place. But the group, Ken Lowe, on down that are all part of the startup team, they were the easiest people to build trust with. Because they were, you know, it was all about putting the best product, we could, on the air being respectful to our clients and our viewers and all these things.

The first year we did budgets at HGTV I uploaded them like 10 minutes to midnight and midnight was the deadline, right? And I realized that I made a mistake and if it had been my former place I knew that there would be huge fallout and they would just say forget it. But, with the CFO at this place, at HGTV his name is Jim Clayton, I called him up at midnight and I said, “Jim, I really messed up.” And he said, “OK, Susan. Let's get in early tomorrow morning and we'll fix it together.” That's trust. You know, those are the moments that really build trust.
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Susan Packard

Susan Packard is co-founder of Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) and former chief operating officer of HGTV. She enabled HGTV to become one of the fastest-growing cable networks in television history. Susan was the second employee of...

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