If you haven’t read our book yet, you’ll want to buy it before our sequel. Becoming a Trustworthy Leader: Psychology and Practice, is published by Routledge Press this summer. If you have read it already, you’ll want the ebook version for handing referencing and bookmarking.
In addition to the Kindle models, including the new Kindle Fire, uou can read it on any device with the Kindle app, including iPhones, as well as Android phones and e-readers.
Just in time for the holidays, Trust is Everything is now available as a an e-book on several platforms, including on the Apple iPad, and the Barnes & Noble Nook, We should have the Kindle version available shortly.
We are near the end of our second book and one topic we’d like to include this time around is the costs of trust. We have experienced the cost of trusting someone too much, as I’m sure many of you have. If you have a story you’d like to share with us, please do, as this is not a topic that has been covered in the research literature as much as other areas of trust.
One article I did find today is by Julian Rotter and was published in 1980, but it is still relevant and interesting.
People who trust more are less likely to lie and are possibly less likely to cheat or steal
They are more likely to give others a second chance and to respect the rights of others
The high truster is less likely to be unhappy, conflicted, or maladjusted,
The high truster is liked more and sought out as a friend more often, both by low-trusting and high-trusting others
High-trusters are NOT more gullible than low trusters
I like the way he describes the difference between high trusters and low trusters. High trusters start out with good intentions, trusting the other person, and then waits to see if the other person will disappoint him or her. The low-truster, on the other hand, starts out distrusting the other person and waits for a reason to trust him or her.
What do you make of this? Are you a high truster or a low-truster?
This is truly a lasting legacy that Bob left, as the plant continues to improve and be one of the world’s very best stamping plants years AFTER Bob retired. For you Good ToGreat and Built to Last fans, Parma is a compelling example of a Level 5 Leader who built a Flywheel that continues to demonstrate significant bottom-line results for both GM and its employees who work at Parma.
In the latest issue of Bloomberg Businessweek (that is still a mouthful!), there is an article about organizations who are eliminating reserved parking spots and the angst it causes some executives. I was intrigued to read that even Joe Paterno, at 84, does not have a reserved parking spot at Penn State. But then, again, after living in State College for five years and learning about the culture he has built (through my son’s godfather, Matt, who played for Paterno), I am not surprised. None of the Penn State football players have their names on their jerseys so why would Paterno request a parking spot for himself? No reserved parking seems like JoePa.
One of the leaders in our book, Bob Lintz, got rid of executive parking at the General Motors Parma, Ohio plant a long time ago. Along with ties and the executive dining room, he realized that those barriers did not create a cohesive and trusting culture, but destroyed it. He believed in it so strongly, that when he had knee surgery, it took a lot of convincing for him to take advantage of a parking spot closer to this plant so that he would not have to hobble a long way when he was recovering. His employees respected him enough to want to give him that–not because he demanded it or claimed it for himself, but because they thought he deserved it.
As I was reading Bloomberg Businessweek this morning, I came across an article about Panera Bread and its CEO, Ron Shaich. I just taught a Panera case in my undergrad marketing strategy class and the case came with a video of Shaich–I was very impressed with him in the video–one of his employees talked about how he had built a culture of trust down to the store level.
In this article, he reinforces the importance of renewing yourself regularly, which we discuss in our book. He said that he makes his best decisions while he is on vacation, including the decision he made to focus his energies on Panera away from AuBon Pain.
It is a good reminder that we all need to get away from the details of work to focus on the big picture.
If you want to know, we will tell you on December 3rd at 9 a.m. at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business at a Three University Positive Workplace Seminar. Aneil and I will be presenting our chapter on team trust from our forthcoming book “Becoming a Trustworthy Leader: Psychology and Practice” to be published by Routledge Press next year.
To learn more about how teams build trust, we interviewed Ross Smith from Microsoft who has been very successful in creating trustworthy teams. We really admire his leadership approach to building a trustworthy team and will be sharing his story at this event.
There will also be scholars there from the University of Michigan and Wayne State, thus the three university event.
Other studies (Panteli & Tucker (2009) have found that the biggest success in building team trust come from
1) sharing information widely
2) sharing team leadership across team members, and
3) minimizing power differentials among team members
If you would like to share your tips on how you have built trust with your team, we’d love to hear about it.
This study looked at over 38,000 leaders to discover that caring was the missing ingredient. They found that CEOs just don’t know how to manage conflict, which is surprising. They suggest that CEOs could acknowledging that the other person is unhappy or just let them know that you care about them. Very simple things to do to demonstrate caring.
We have often said that caring is the last aspect that leaders get to when building trust because it is often the hardest–it is the most vulnerable. We have to get outside of ourselves and take an interest in another person. We have to care about their interests as much or more than our own and we are not good at doing that. This is why when we find a caring (and competent) leader like Bob Lintz or Mary Ellen Sheets (both profiled in our book), we wish we could clone them.
Okay, we keep talking about the importance of building trust in the workplace through open communication, and a new survey by Deloitte proves us out.
According to Deloitte LLP’s fourth annual Ethics & Workplace Survey, one-third of employed Americans plan to look for a new job when the economy gets better. Of this group of respondents, 48 percent cite a loss of trust in their employer and 46 percent say that a lack of transparent communication from their company’s leadership are their reasons for looking for new employment at the end of the recession.
It is not just a nice idea to work on building trust with employees, but it will help you reduce turnover costs, as well. When employees leave, they take with them knowledge of the organization, knowledge of their jobs, networks with colleagues, and networks with customers. All of this can add up to enormous losses for a company.
If you are interested in ways to improve open communication and build trust, feel free to read our book!
We take trust for granted, thinking it is some nice soft thing that makes our lives happy. As managers, we want to know why trust makes such a difference that we should actually spend time building it and actually care about it.
Well, here are some examples from the leaders we profile in our book…
Trust between a General Motors plant manager and his local union turned around a $250 million plant that had horrible costs, quality, and productivity 20 years ago. It is now a thriving $1 billion/year operation, and thousands of jobs have been preserved.
Trust between a cardiothoracic medical doctor and his critical care team reduced mortality by nearly 50%, sepsis by 50%, and acute renal failure by 37.5%, while improving operational efficiency by reducing ICU and hospital length of stays.
Trust in her employees helped Mary Ellen Sheets take a $350 investment and turn it into the $200 million company, Two Men and a Truck
So, while trust is a nice thing that makes people happy and makes a work environment much easier to manage, it also saves jobs, saves lives, and makes money.