Earlier in the week, I talked about Trust But Verify, and on Wacky Wednesday, I had a demotivational poster about trust. Today I have a post from SmartBlogs.com, by Julie Winkle Giulioni. She shared Ten Trust Terminators.
I won't repeat the entire list here, but I will provide some highlights:
Julie focuses more on the "Do as I say, not as I do" aspect of behaving
inconsistently. Your words and actions need to be consistent, to show
the team that you are the leader you say you are.
But there is another angle. If you are constantly changing your mind, changing the direction of action, or telling your people different things to focus on before they finish the last one, then you are behaving inconsistently. One of my major tenants is Consistency. In fact I call it the detonator to the C4 Leader for explosive results. If you behave inconsistently, your team won't know what to make of your directions, and will not trust that what you say is what really needs to be accomplished; or that you even know what needs to be accomplished.
Say "Just Trust Me"
Julie's focus is again on the terms, acknowledging that the term speaks volumes to a team. From her perspective, it is never meant to be said. I would argue that there are times where it is necessary. I will again point to a military example. If you are giving orders in a combat environment then you may not have time to explain yourself, or your orders. I cannot think of a business environment where the words would be acceptable, but hopefully you have Communicated with your team the intent from the beginning, and built the trust so that these words are never said.
In the end, trust is fragile, and shouldn't be taken lightly. Trust is hard earned, easily destroyed, and the most valuable commodity a leader has. Don't take it for granted.
Trust is one of the most fragile assets a leader has. The team's trust in you, your trust in the team. I discussed this on a previous blog entry. But trust is earned, and blind trust can cause massive problems.
Trust But Verify. Believe it or not, this is a Russian proverb ""doveryai no proveryai"" taught to President Ronald Regan by a Russian Writer named Suzanne Massie. It eventually became a phrase associated with Ronald Regan's entire Presidency. The original intent is a form of advice, recommending that while a source of information might be considered reliable, one
should perform additional research to verify that such information is
accurate, or trustworthy.
Sadly, I've sat in meetings like this and try hard to not be THAT Project Manager. I have friends (mostly engineers, but it happens to me as well) who are regularly called into meeting and leave with this experience.
I am going out on a limb here, but in honor of Battlestar Gallactica (which I started watching on Netflix again, and recently celebrating its 10 year anniversary), this week's lesson is the a difference between Frack-up versus Failure.