Chapter Five: Competency 5: Earning Trust And Loyalty 63
An exceptional leader’s ability to develop and communicate vision is what gets others to follow them initially; the leader’s ability to establish and maintain trust is what keeps them following through the most challenging times. For most followers, loyalty is slow to be established and quick to lose. Exceptional leaders develop the competency to know where risks to trust are most likely to be; they work actively to safeguard trust and to repair it when it’s damaged. SCENARIO:
Human resources VP Jim Batten was talking with Barbara Buczinski, VP of patient care services, about gaining trust with staff. Buczinski stated, “It really is all about being yourself. I find that I have to put in a lot of time and help people get to know who I am and what makes me tick. In doing so, I think I will gain their trust.” Batten replied, “How true. And yet so many leaders seem to orchestrate their actions and how they are seen. It is almost like a political campaign. You know that the people who are running for election are not really letting us see their true selves.”
Debate the two sides of this issue. Should leaders let their guard down and let followers see everything?
Or should they be cautious in what is seen and what is known about them? In other words, are there circumstances in which some withholding of information or even manipulation may be best?
Jim Batten, vice president of human resources, and Elizabeth Parris, CEO, were talking one day about trust. Parris commented, “I just don’t believe that you can measure trust. I know that people say you cannot manage what you do not measure, but trust is one of the concepts that I do not see a way to measure.”
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