This was a question I asked a group of senior level managers during a workshop on Entrepreneurial Leadership. It generated a lively and thought-provoking discussion. Here are five of their insights and experiences.
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“Earn trust by trusting others “mantra works everywhere. Leader should be truthful and open to communication. They should hold themselves accountable if things go wrong and be generous in giving credit where it is due. They should not forget to praise their staff in front of superiors and peers for the good work. Trust does not emerge from words, it stems from action in short leader should “walk the talk”.
“I’ve always told my teams that we hired them because they had the experience necessary to do the job well. To that end, I don’t want to be a micromanager…let me know the progress you’re making regularly (say once a week). If something is going to make me, my boss, my boss’s boss, the department, or the company look bad – I need to know and want to know immediately, and not knowing is worse than knowing”.
“Take the time to explain your principles and act on them. Speak plainly and check for understanding. Spend a lot of time with people on the front line of the operation building the trust needed for when things get tough. Make sure you are accessible and don’t allow your staff to filter messages particularly bad news”
“Trusting something or somebody is an individual decision. It cannot be enforced but only facilitated. I know that I find it hard to trust anybody who has disappointed me once. Look at how long it takes (and how much it cost) to re-gain a lost customer (internal or external customer) and you will realize that trust does matter in business.”
“If it is done correctly, your team did it. If it is done only satisfactorily, you and your team did it. If it is done wrong, you did it. This lets the staff know that you are not there to accept only the rewards but the criticism as well.”[/message][su_spacer]
Smart Moves Tip:
From the quotes above as well as the discussion that transpired, I derived the top ten list of leadership insights:
- Keep the information flowing: good or bad
- Don’t shoot the messenger when you receive bad news
- Seek to understand and then then seek to be understood
- Help people do their jobs better – listen and be willing to be adaptable
- Share the blame when things go wrong and the credit when things go right
- Be open and honest – this builds trust and a sense of we’re all in this together
- Be clear in your expectations. Uncertainty and mixed perceptions breeds distrust
- Lead from the front especially in crisis. Take the initiative and be decisive, but not dogmatic
- Don’t sit behind a desk, role up your sleeves and get your hands dirty side by side with them
- Be authentic. When people see the real you, and that you are willing to be vulnerable, their trust will grow.
What other leadership insights can you suggest? Also what have been your experience in trusting your leader as well as being trusted as a leader?
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