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Leadership: Being a Trusted Employee Matters

Presented by: Gail Alofsin, Adjunct Professor, University of Rhode Island

“Trust is earned when actions meet words.” -Chris Butler

One of the courses I teach and lead at the University of Rhode is focused on personal and professional leadership and communication. We “hit the road” in a Mercedes Sprinter Van (safety) to visit companies in Manhattan for a week. The students are exposed to exemplary customer service as we stay at Marriott properties. They have the opportunity to network and learn from 70+ business professionals from corporations and agencies including Citibank, HBO, Google, Pepsi, Thomas Reuters, Twitter, Conde Nast, NBC and ESPN, just to name a few. And…drumroll…I learn too!

Authenticity, integrity, listening and communication are among the top traits discussed. Your word, your work, your brand - are you trusted? Are you trusted to complete projects on time? Are you trusted to meet your budget? Are you trusted to arrive on time and be fully present? Are you trusted not to spread negative gossip?

Being a trusted employee at ALL levels of your career makes you valuable. Showcase your value every day. Building your leadership “brand” is a lifelong process and the “little” things matter.  Bring YOUR best self to work. Define your digital brand professionally, for the people who “meet” you online before they meet you face to face. Live the fortune cookie wisdom: “Good work brings good fortune.”

Whether you are new to the workforce or have been working for decades, this sage advice from several of our speakers is perpetually relevant:

“Be the first one to raise your hand, always.” -Adam Wiener, CBS Local Digital

“Don’t be afraid to scare yourself. Whether you fail or succeed, it will lead to other things.” -Mark Dupont, Focus Financial Partners

“Adhere to the Agile Model, try something – fail fast and forward.” -Michael Moore, Thompson Reuters

“Can you hear the smile in my voice and hear my enthusiasm while talking with you?” -Kathy O’Donnell, Citizens Bank (by phone)

“There will be mini fire drills throughout your day. Nothing surprises us. A Type A personality is an asset! -Sammi Vogel, BBC

Twitter’s Manhattan office lobby is aglow with the neon light of a sign announcing  “#LoveWhereYouWork”. This is a great reminder to focus on the positive aspects of where we work, which builds a mindset of productivity, contribution, and follow-through: the cornerstones of becoming a trusted employee. As you pay attention to detail and work on self-improvement every day, this will lead to a trusted brand called YOU!


Gail Lowney Alofsin is a national speaker and trainer, author, university professor and business development executive. 100% of the sales of her leadership and personal development book, Your Someday is NOW – What are you Waiting For? has been donated to non-profit organizations, raising over $40,000 to date.

Gail speaks at conferences, corporations and associations throughout the nation on the topics of Leadership, Sales, Customer Service, Communication, Time Management and other professional development topics. She can be reached at, 401-640-4418 or

2021 will mark Gail’s 6th year of sharing her positive energy and knowledge at UID. Gail believes that we all have the capability to be a leader in our own lives, influencing the lives of others to positive peak performance and success. 

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