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Roberta Matuson
Identify the best talent in the world.
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Roberta's Recent Publications

The Magnetic Leader

Employees don’t work for companies; they work for people. The more irresistible you are as a leader, the more pull you have for employees to want to stay and for your customers to remain loyal. Read Excerpt

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Roberta's Recent Publications

Talent Magnetism

Your company is only as good as the talent you keep. Learn the new rules for attracting top talent and getting them to stick around. Excerpt

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Roberta's Recent Publications

Suddenly in Charge

Honored by the Washington Post as a Top 5 Business Book for Leaders.

Learn how to manage up, down, and succeed all around... Excerpt

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Roberta's Recent Publications

Suddenly in Charge

Learn how to save your company millions by improving the quality of your hires, while improving productivity. Slash costly employee turnover.

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Resources

Rebuilding Trust, Can it Be Done? Five Lessons We Can Learn from Toyota

Is it possible to rebuild trust, after you've made some huge mistakes? Only time will tell for companies like Toyota, who recently recalled millions of Toyota and Lexus vehicles due to "run away cars." Right now, I don't believe Toyota will ever regain the trust of their loyal customers nor do I think they will be able to repair their valuable brand. This is not because it's impossible to do, as companies like Tylenol have proven that trust can be rebuilt if you do so in a thoughtful and genuine manner. But I haven't seen Toyota do one thing right that indicates to me that anyone will trust them again.

Here are five lessons leaders can learn from this whole situation:

1. Be proactive

When you make a mistake, own it the minute you realize something is not right. Toyota allegedly knew about this problem several years ago and even made some fixes for their cars being sold in Japan. If they had done this here in the US, people might have been more sympathetic. Fortunately, most of you are not dealing in life or death situations. More than likely, you will be forgiven if you are honest with those around you.

2. Take responsibility for your mistake

Own it with an "I" statement. By that I mean, begin your apology with "I" rather than using words like "corporate" or "the bank." In the end, you are ultimately to blame. Few people are going to forgive an inanimate object like a corporation, but they will certainly consider forgiving someone who appears to be human.

3. Vow to make things right and then do so

Toyota keeps vowing to make things right, as they continue to reveal more information that indicates they are not sure if the problem has really been corrected. If you are unable to make things right, then tell people so and explain to them why you are unable to do this right now. The last thing people want to hear is more of the same. If you are able to immediately begin to fix things, keep people informed as to exactly what you are doing along the way in order to regain their trust.

4. Re-define expectations

Let people know exactly what they can expect from you as you move forward. Right now many people, including myself, are scratching their heads wondering how things with Toyota will be different as they move forward. That's because they've yet to really take responsibility for this situation and they haven't answered this question. If you've seen their recent television ads, you know what I mean. You have some American guys working on the manufacturing line with a voice over saying why we should put our trust back in their company. I want to know where the heck the executives are. Are they hiding underneath their desks? They should be the ones on camera speaking to the people, taking responsibility and stating exactly what we can expect from them moving forward.

5. Follow through on your promises

Keep your commitments. We won’t be able to determine how well Toyota has done this for a number of years. However, you certainly have the power to demonstrate that your words and actions are one and the same. Trust is based on commitment to a shared vision. Without it, there is little left to support the foundation of any relationship. Do what you say you will do and in time you will regain trust.

It’s difficult to rebuild trust, but not impossible. Follow these five steps and you’ll soon be on the road to rebuilding relationships with the people who you most value in your life.

Testimonials

"Roberta's guidance has dramatically increased my ability to pull in and retain the talent we need to take our organization to the next level. She's proven to be a trusted advisor and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to other CEOs who are looking to accelerate..."
Tom Hopcroft, President & CEO
Mass Leadership Technology Council

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"The coaching that Roberta Matuson provided for one of our retail store managers renewed the manager’s excitement in her work, provided her with increased skills in the selection of new employees and gave her the tools she needed to better manage her staff..."
Mary G. Rahal, VP, Human Resources and Administration
Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, Inc.

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"Roberta was able to clearly define our project objectives and the methodology that we needed to reach those objectives. Roberta helped us pinpoint the root cause of our problem by using in-depth probing techniques that gave her access to important data we did not have..."
Amy Waryas, Director, HR
The Boston Beer Company

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"Roberta worked with us to create a comprehensive onboarding program. With her guidance, knowledge, and expert HR advise we have successfully launched our company-wide training initiative. We now assimilate new hires into the company more effectively than ever..."
Ted Winston, Co-Owner
Winston Flowers

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"When it comes to management of people, Roberta sees through all the noise and gets right to the heart of the matter..."
Mark Spitzer, President
Photonic Glass Corporation

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"As we have grown, Roberta has provided continued support to help us work through complicated personnel issues while allowing us to focus on other areas of our business. Our employment practices truly support our business goals..."
Paul M. Zavracky, Ph.D., Former President and COO
MicroOptical Corporation

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"Roberta has saved us time and energy on situations we may have needlessly wrestled with. We consider her a partner and look for her guidance often. Roberta has provided a welcomed service to Six Red Marbles..."
Sarah Smith White, President
Six Red Marbles

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"Roberta was tenacious about keeping us focused on completing our project on schedule. The finished project was comprehensive, professional and passed the scrutiny of legal experts. I would definitely use Matuson Consulting again..."
John Blake, Former COO
Advanced Results Marketing

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"Roberta has been a tremendous mentor and coach to me over the past year. She has partnered with me on multiple professional development fronts, as well as helping me through some very challenging situations. I found Roberta to be wise counsel!"
– Allison DiSiena, VP of Recruiting, Marketing, Interactive and Creative Services Division, 24 Seven Inc.

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"Roberta Matuson was our answer. She met with us, developed a plan, walked us through the process to record our policies and procedures. She helped identify areas where policies were non-existent. She then developed and produced our employee handbook. We still use it today..."
Tim Slattery, CEO
CFSmail.com

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"Roberta presented an engaging and informative webinar on “Managing Up in a Top Down World” for Northeastern University’s alumni. This thought provoking session provided practical strategies for navigating office politics and building effective relationships for career advancement. Roberta’s extensive expertise and knowledge of workplace trends was apparent as she skillfully answered a wide range of questions from participants. Her well-organized presentation made it easy for the audience to commit to implementing her advice."
Michele Rapp, Associate Director
Northeastern University

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"Roberta’s ability to provide new leaders with insights on matters that few are willing to discuss is refreshing and will serve our members well. As a CEO, I'm especially impressed with her ability to quickly distill difficult situations and provide pragmatic advice that can be quickly and successfully implemented."
Aradhna Malhotra Oliphant, President and CEO
Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.

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"I have had the opportunity to experience Roberta Matuson’s “fast track” coaching. Her candid, succinct and concise approach provided positive reinforcement toward my professional goals."
Cheryl Schondek, VP of Food Acquisition and Supply Chain
The Greater Boston Food Bank

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Talent & Your Bottom Line: The Employee Turnover Calculator

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