-Rob and Anne-
MESSAGE FROM THE AUTHORS
conclude our series of articles for managers “on
the way in” with a discussion of being human.
long as it’s genuine, a little warmth and humility
can go a long way. A lot goes even farther.
Next month starts our series of articles on the responsibilities
of trusted leaders.
you get the Harvard Business Review,
you may have seen a mention of Rob's upcoming new book
with Regina Maruca, The Leadership Legacy,
which will be published by HBR later this year. We'll
tell you more about the new book in later issues.
Communications Mistakes New Managers Make
Yourself a Guide
Trust by Listening and Doing Your Homework
month's issue: Responsibilities of the Trusted Leader
TRUST ON THE WAY IN PART VI: BE A PERSON
a person, for heaven's sake. When you're in the early
stages of building trust, people are trying to figure
you out. How best to work with you. What you're trying to
accomplish. What's important to you, both short and long-term.
enough mystery about you to these people, so giving them a
greater sense of who you are can only help. Let people see
that you are a real person, with something more to you than
bland corporate art on the walls of your office.
don't have to distribute your spiritual autobiography to the
entire organization, but you can let them pick up a sense
of who you are. You can refer to your errors on the tennis
court, or family mishaps, or children's foibles, or something
about your Springer Spaniels
and what you have learned from them. These will give a human
connection to you (not just from you!) with
the people and the organization whose trust you now have to
gain, whether you work with them directly or not.
will be those positive little human nuances that will help
you, the same way that other, less positive little human nuances
can hurt (like insisting on a private corner office with a
window when other colleagues, or even your predecessor, did
not have one).
last parenthesis, by the way, was a thinly-veiled plea for
another dimension of being a person to find its way to the
fore. That dimension is humility. We talked about this in
Chapter 3 of The
Trusted Leader - on the characteristics and competencies
of trusted leaders.
on the way in is so, so important, simply because the reverse
trait, arrogance, is so, so damaging to the building of trust
inside. No one, repeat, no one, will make your road to trust
an easy one if they perceive even a tincture of arrogance.
is not an advisory to be falsely humble. We all know how that
fake modesty stuff is like fingernails on a blackboard. It's
just a reminder (for all of us) to keep egos in check as we
worry. People will find out how good you are. It's what got
you to your new role the first place. That, and being a person,
for heaven's sake.
are the operating principles from the country of New-Ness.
They have validity for most other countries as well, whether
things are politically stable, or whether, as we shall explore
next, we go to places in times of change.
this month’s article we asked some professionals about
their experiences with managers who have effectively built
trust “on the way in.” Faith Senie, a senior software
engineering manager, told us the following:
my previous job, I was reorganized into a new group with
a new manager who had just recently come up from the ranks
of us software engineers. He didn't impress me as the sort
that would make a good manager, so I wasn't happy about
the gentleman spent a lot of time reading management texts
and taking management classes, and clearly showed that he
cared enough about the position to improve his abilities.
He also asked a lot of questions and told us to be sure
to point out when we thought he wasn't doing things right.
And when we did so, he did not lash out -- he used the opportunity
as a good learning experience. He eventually turned out
to be one of the better managers I've had in my career.
tried to do the same when I myself became a manager four
Accepting that sort of criticism from former peers is hard!
But I made it clear that I wasn't going to learn to fix
things if I didn't know they were broken. And my team was
not shy about telling me when I was screwing up! I would
not be where I am today without their wonderful help...”
Have you ever noticed a new manager
doing a great job establishing trust? Let
forward this newsletter to your colleagues and friends who
are interested in organizational and leadership issues. Your
feedback is always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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TRUST AND LEADERSHIP
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