Posts Tagged ‘empowerment’

The 10 Laws of Trust.jpgIn The 10 Laws of Trust, Joel Peterson examines the importance of trust in the corporate world and beyond. He presents 10 easily followed concepts to building, maintaining, and even repairing trust. Peterson differentiates between high- and low-trust organizations and, through case studies and examples, shows that it is the high-trust environment that is the most successful. He asserts that not only does trust work, but it makes for good business.

The image of the take-no-prisoners, exceed-at-any cost, Machiavellian businessman may not represent the best corporate leader. Trust as a basis for business comes naturally for some, and integrity, while a morally comfortable way to do business, might also be the most effective way. The following are the 10 laws of trust in business:

  1. Start with personal integrity. Integrity should be practiced at work and in all other interactions, both personal and professional. True integrity involves syncing words with actions, avoiding hypocrisy, and doing the right thing habitually.
  2. Invest in respect. Leaders must model and freely give respect, which is another component of trust. It builds reciprocity and should be extended to all employees.
  3. Empower others. Respect can mean allowing others the room to make mistakes, which helps them grow and achieve. If employees know that they are free to explore and will still be trusted even if they fail, they will push themselves.
  4. Measure what should be achieved. If employees or others know what is expected from them, then they have a way to measure their achievements. Uncertainty breeds distrust.
  5. Create a common dream. In addition to individual goals, everyone should be aware of the long-range, shared goals of the organization. Knowing that every individual plays a part toward achieving the communal goals promotes trust between team members.
  6. Keep everyone informed. Leaders need to clearly convey information to those working alongside them. Some of the most successful companies are transparent to a fault.
  7. Embrace respectful conflict. Conflict, if encountered in trust, should be viewed as an opportunity for growth. If the aims of the business are paramount, all interaction moves toward the common goal.
  8. Show humility. Humility encourages the free exchange of ideas. Sometimes the best ideas come from those lower on the company ladder. While this fuels innovation, trust is needed for employees to air their ideas and for management to hear them.
  9. Strive for win-win negotiations. Each party should not come to a discussion with an aim to win, but instead see it as an opportunity for both sides to win. A working relationship should be viewed as ongoing, not something to be ended on the battlefield of the conference table.
  10. Proceed with care. Betrayals will likely happen, and when they do, the leader of a high-trust organization should find that its previously built alliances sustain the organization. Rebuilding trust can occur, and it happens more easily when an atmosphere of trust has been well established.

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A Team of LeadersIn today’s business world it is challenging for companies to both deal with problems and changes internally and at the same time be productive and competitive in the marketplace. In A Team of Leaders, Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff show readers how to create an environment where everyone is a leader. The lives of team leaders or supervisors can be fraught with frustration, as pressure is exerted on them from both the top and the bottom, as well as from the public who use their companies’ products or services. Some companies seek to lessen this stress by adopting team environments, which can be helpful but still puts leaders at the top of these teams. Building teams of leaders, however, replaces the supervisor-employee relationship with teams that eventually manage themselves.

The authors provide the following advice to readers:

  • The amount of involvement and interest a work force generally projects is relevant to how leader-focused that group is designed to be. Companies need to evaluate where their teams are. Teams possess a greater sense of ownership when all members have input and are equally informed about what is going on.
  • Different designs create different teams. The way teams are designed will predict the way they look and behave. Companies’ structures and management systems should be closely aligned with their overall strategies to begin with, which makes it easier for teams to have common visions and purposes.
  • Within teams, the goal is for everyone to be leaders. Each employee should have an individual development plan and recognition for accomplishments, and in this way all employees will be able to foresee future actions and promotions within the teams.
  • Leaders want to be contributors. Leadership is encouraged when each member of the team knows exactly what his or her contribution is to the overall mission. Regular feedback about the progress the team is making and how it is contributing to the overall goals of the company is extremely helpful.
  • Knowledge management is important and multi-faceted. Teams need to have data and information, but also knowledge about procedures, policies and other organizational materials, in addition to working knowledge of the values and beliefs of their companies. Each member should master the skills needed to perform his or her own functions and have a general idea of what others do to contribute.

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