Tuesday, May 4, 2010


A great article in the link to trust in leadership ability from Ken Blanchard:

Trust has taken a hit lately in all facets of our life. Chalk it up to the combined effects of the economic meltdown, financial mismanagement, and an increasing sense that, in business at least, everyone seems to be in it only for themselves. The result has been dwindling levels of trust in organizations to a recent new low point where only seven percent of workers strongly agree that they trust their senior leaders to look out for their best interest.

Leaders need to tackle these declining levels of trust head-on, according to Cynthia Olmstead, founder and president of TrustWorks Group, Inc., a San Diego-based consultancy that is partnering with The Ken Blanchard Companies to improve trust in organizations. To combat the decline, Olmstead recommends that leaders take the time to assess current trust levels in their organizations and if they find trust is lacking, immediately begin a process to resolve the issues.

To help with the process, Olmstead recommends thinking about four core elements represented in the ABCD Trust Model™ that people can use to evaluate whether someone is trustworthy or not. How would the people in your organization rate their leaders in these four areas?

•Able—demonstrates competence, expertise, experience, and capability in getting the desired results accomplished
•Believable—walks the talk of a core set of values, demonstrates honesty, and uses fair, equitable practices
•Connected—interacts with staff, communicates and shares relevant information, provides praise, and gives recognition
•Dependable—is accountable, takes responsibility for own actions, and consistently follows up

It’s What You Do That Counts
For Olmstead, the key is to exhibit the trust behaviors that people look for in their leaders. This is critical, because people need to see trust in action more than they need to hear about it.

“One example is the use of the word ‘transparency’ these days,” explains Olmstead. “Everyone agrees that leaders should be open and candid in sharing information. But when people look around, they don’t see the transparency they are hearing about.”

“The challenge with transparency then is to identify the behaviors that clearly define the concept. It's important to remember that trust is in the eyes of the beholder. What does transparency mean in your organization? Should employees be getting all of the information? Who should be included in meetings? And if you have been a very tight-lipped organization in the past, you are going to have to be open and candid about what you are going to do to become more ‘transparent’ in that transition before people are really going to trust the new behaviors.”

For leaders looking to be more upfront and authentic, Olmstead recommends three behaviors to get started.

•Be accessible.
As a leader, particularly during tumultuous times, it’s important to be out in front of the organization sharing plans for the future. Don't hide behind closed doors or delegate the important task of communicating to others. As a leader, employees look to you for information on what’s going on. That means you have to be very clear about what the plan is. “What are we going to do?”, “When does it start?”, and “How does it get implemented?” are all questions that will have to be answered.

•Acknowledge that people have concerns. Once you’ve communicated the vision for the organization, you also need to take the time to listen for concerns and anxieties that people might have. Create opportunities for dialogue. This doesn’t mean coddling people, but it does mean making sure that you are listening.
•Follow-through. If you don't know the answer to a question immediately and say that you will get back to the employee, make sure that you do in the promised amount of time. Keeping your word on small things demonstrates dependability and reliability that people can count on when it comes to big things. It builds credibility that you, the leader, will continue to do what you say you will.

Read the entire article at: http://bit.ly/9G4iYk