Leading On Management: Stronger With Trust

Years ago at the start of my career, fresh out of university, I watched a key note speaker. Unfortunately I have long since forgotten his name, but something he said has always stayed with me.strongerwithtrust

He explained that for many years he worked at a manufacturing plant looking after a specific piece of machinery. He then left to go on a trip and when he came back he was disappointed to see that the machine had been changed.

When he spoke to his manager about it, the response he got was “Things move on, they can’t always stay the same.”

“I get that”, the man said, “but what really upset me was that the same things that were wrong with the old machine are wrong with the new one. If you’d only have asked me about it, I would have told you and we could have really moved on.”

At the time I had very little experience and no real idea of where my career would take me, but it struck me as an important lesson – to trust the knowledge of others.

As a leader it’s easy to assume that you know best for your company and your people, especially if it’s a small company that you’ve grown from scratch.  You were the one making all the sacrifices, suffering sleepless nights and having it consume your every waking moment. So, when making everyday decisions it’s quicker and easier to do so without a consultation. But this isn’t always the quickest route in the long run.

Learning how to trust is an important characteristic for any leader and the linchpin for any organisation. It may not feel comfortable and it may be a daunting experience to go through but unless you trust your teams you can never truly empower, you can never genuinely motivate or develop and you can never continue to grow. We expect our teams to gel as well as any sport team and work seamlessly together – impossible without trust. We expect our managers to make decisions solve problems and hire the right people – also impossible without trust, and we expect our people to go the extra mile, give their all and stay motivated trusting that their needs will be met and that they’re working for a leader that cares.

You might feel that you’re letting go, and feel surplus to requirements, but in actual fact you are progressing as a leader. A leader without trust is hard to respect and follow. But a leader that has confidence in their team’s ability will forge a strong culture and will move forward and achieve great things together.

Barbara Nixon

Barbara Nixon

Management Development Trainer, Coach and Writer at Barbara Nixon
Barbara Nixon is a passionate learning and development specialist who gets a real kick out of seeing people develop and grow. Barbara is Director of Synaptic Change – a UK based training consultancy that designs and delivers bespoke management development programmes, and then embeds the learning back into the workplace -which is something that she is very passionate about. Although Barbara loves working with organisations and teams she also came to realise that not everyone has access to development programmes at work, and not everyone wants to share their aspirations with their boss – so Managers Mentor was born. An online space dedicated to motivating, developing and supporting others to achieve the success that they’re looking for in their role and career. In her spare time Barbara has 4 kids, grows veg to varying degrees of success and loves to read.
Barbara Nixon
Barbara Nixon

Comments

comments

8 Comments

  • April 11, 2014

    RandyConley

    I enjoyed your post Barbara. The opposite of trust is control, and unless leaders are willing to relinquish control and empower others to act responsibly, trust will never flourish.

    Thanks for the great reminders.

    Randy

  • April 11, 2014

    AlaskaChickBlog

    Barbara,
    What an important point. So very important and yet, standing where I am right now~ so incredibly hard. It is all well and good for us to speak of it (when we do) but now, focusing on the idea and fact of trust and how it relates to us each leading- it very well could be the most difficult thing of all to do.
    The point you made ~ about the story that was shred with you, really makes the point. And truly, if we want to grow as leaders- we need to be able to trust others, give them (empower) the respect they have earned and let it go… and yes, it does feel as if this important business, this goal, is slipping out of your hands. But yes, it is our own progress and growth as leaders and as a business. It is also most likely, one of the hardest steps- for themselves (myself) to take. But we aren’t here just to tread water, are we? Thanks for this post, Barbara. Very nice.

  • April 11, 2014

    leadyourteam

    Thanks for a terrific article Barbara-
    I think that trust is a positive assumption based on previous attitudes and actions, but often those who we would like to extend trust to us simply do not notice the actions or attitude that we have displayed…
    Unfortunate, because front line employees often know the most and are trusted the least

  • April 12, 2014

    AliRodriguez

    Love your article Barbara, and what a gentle, yet powerful reminder of how important trust is all the way around!

  • April 13, 2014

    Bnixon1

    AliRodriguez Thanks Ali.

  • April 13, 2014

    Bnixon1

    RandyConley Thanks Randy

  • April 13, 2014

    Bnixon1

    AlaskaChickBlog Thanks Amber Lee 🙂

  • April 13, 2014

    Bnixon1

    leadyourteam Thank you 🙂