Leadership and Management Essentials: Start by Earning Trust
Leadership is a vital part of management. A manager needs to have leadership skills in order to be effective.
Likewise, in order for a manager to be seen as a leader, he or she must inspire trust in themselves and for their business.
In general, trust is often regarded as the most important currency in business. It can the bedrock of a company’s success and the element that undergirds all employer-employee relationships.
Without trust, no one will believe in the organization. Without that belief, no one is going to serve the business within the business, and no one is going to buy what you’re selling – be it a product, service, or idea.
Trust is intangible, yet it affects all aspects of business. A lack of trust results in a very tangible failure.
Paypal, Amazon, eBay and Netflix: these are just some of the biggest businesses online that operate on the basis of trust. There are millions of strangers interacting with one another on the sole strength of their confidence in another person’s – or organization’s – reliability to deliver on a promise. Given the massive memberships of these businesses, trust is apparently one of the best ways to get more business and enjoy repeat business.
Trust can never be faked. It can never be bought. It can only be earned.
In a highly competitive corporate world, earning trust can be a steep climb. Likewise, giving trust away too readily can be dangerous. However, organizations have to operate on a certain level of trust, or else they shouldn’t be in business at all.
Trust is that all-important currency in all areas of business entrepreneurship.
Because trust ebbs and flows, it is important to be consistent with your message and your actions over time. Transparency and truthfulness are all crucial elements for trust to take place. While there are certain things in an organization that have to be kept confidential, the flow of information between managers and direct reports should remain open.
Successful leaders can also inspire trust by making both professional and personal connections with their direct reports. This produces a strong sense of commitment and loyalty from employees, which, in turn, allows them to be their real selves and drop the workplace mask.
Trust in the upper levels of leadership and management sets the tone for the rest of the organization.
Common symptoms of a lack of trust within an organization include favoritism, behind-the-back criticism and gossip, shirking of responsibilities, and a refusal to admit mistakes. All of these are caustic contributors to a toxic business environment.
In an atmosphere palpably lacking in trust, fear pervades.
No one works productively under constant fear. Everyone suffers – including the organization, stakeholders, and employees – both in terms of dollar values and “hidden taxes.”
Stephen M.R. Covey says it best:
“Trust is the one thing that changes everything.”
Without trust, the most fruitful economy, the most successful business, and even the greatest relationships can all too easily be destroyed.
Icon Credits (thenounproject.com):
Hamish Buchanan; Alfredo Hernandez; Krisada; Luis Prado; Cristiano Zoucas