Trust Matters – Without It You Have Nothing 3

Trust 2People won’t trust anyone they don’t respect first. Have you ever met someone for the very first time and thought, “Oh, yuck – What a dink”? (And I don’t mean Double Income No Kids.) You didn’t know why – you just knew that there was something about that person you didn’t like. But, after you spent some time with them, and got to know them better, did you ever change your mind? Building relationships and establishing trust with the people you work with and interact with is crucial to your overall success as a manager and business leader. Trust matters – Without it you have nothing. Once you lose the trust and confidence of your team mates – you lose your ability to manage and lead them.

Worth Remembering … “If you want to be interesting – you first must be interested.” – Dale Carnegie

Trust and respect do not come automatically just because you’ve been given a title. You must earn both, one person at a time. Establishing trust between you and the people you work with is a 3-step process that I refer to as the 3 R’s – Rapport, Relationships and Respect. It’s a process that everyone must go through when meeting someone for the very first time. Some people will go through these steps more quickly than others. But it’s a journey that everyone has to go on. A close friend of mine is great at this. She can meet someone for the very first time and within minutes they are carrying on a conversation as if they have known each other for ever. People just naturally open up to her. She is also great at remembering names. (I have to admit I’m not so good at this) Think how powerful it would be if you could remember someone’s name, their children’s names, their birthdays and interests and you were able to remember them and use it in a conversation.

The 3 R’s – Building Relationships to Last

Step One: Rapport.  The first step is to build rapport. Find out something about the other person other than the job that they do. Do they have hobbies? Are they married? Do they have children? What do they like to do in their spare time? You need to be able to carry on a conversation with them on a subject that they enjoy talking about. Idle chit-chat is important if you want to develop rapport. You can’t take the next step without first establishing rapport.

Step Two: Relationships. The second step in establishing trust with the people you work with and interact with are relationships. Successful salespeople understand the value of building relationships with their clients. They understand that people choose to do business with people they like. The same holds true for the people on your team. People like to work with and hang out with people they like. No one wants to let a friend down. A recent Gallop survey revealed that companies with less than 10 employees or small teams within the organization have the most committed workers.

Step Three: Respect. The final step in establishing trust is respect. Always keep in mind that people won’t respect anyone they haven’t built a relationship with first. Respect is reciprocal. Try this little experiment. The next time you go into a shopping mall or office building that has a double set of doors – open the first set of doors for the people behind you. I will bet you that someone within that group will hold the second door open for you. Respect works the same way. If you give it – you’ll get it – but you must give it first.  People feel obligated to return the favor. It’s part of our DNA.

Worth Remembering … “Trust is to human relationships what faith is to gospel living.” – Barbara Smith

If you have navigated the 3-step process successfully you will be able to establish trust in your relationship with your team. Without mutual trust and respect, your team will abandon you and you will eventually fail. You might be able to bully them into doing things they don’t want to do in the short-term but, it will come around to bite you in the end. (Pun intended) What goes around comes around. Having trouble establishing trust? Try my 3-step process and let me know how things work out. – 🙂

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a speaker? Planning a lunch-n-learn or training session on soft-skills or leadership development? DM me – Let’s talk. briansmithpld@gmail.com or visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more.

The Art of Managing and Leading in the 21st Century 3

images (1)It doesn’t matter what environment you work in – retail, manufacturing, construction or the corporate world, the challenges remain the same. New leadership skills are required for the workplace of today and the next decade. Your success as a manager or business leader is no longer dependent on your technical ability alone. Soft-skills – your ability to communicate and interact more effectively with others, now plays a more pivotal role in your success and the overall success of your organization. It doesn’t matter what book you read, the workshops you participate in, or the seminars you attend, know for certain that there are no silver bullets here. Unless you are committed to a new way of managing and leading others you will get left behind. The workplace is changing and if you don’t adapt to keep pace with those changes you stand the risk of falling by the wayside.

Do you feel at times that your staff are turned off or have tuned out? Is it getting more challenging to motivate others? Are you finding it difficult to attract or retain talent? You are not alone. Gallup’s ongoing survey findings indicate that 70 % of workers are not engaged. According to Gallup   “Millennials are most likely of all the generations to say that they will leave their jobs in the next 12 months if the job market improves”. If you want to re-engage the disengaged and attract new talent then you need to master the art of managing and leading in the 21st Century.

The Four Step Leadership Development Model (C)

I believe the key to retaining and attracting new talent is to develop and fashion your leadership style around these four easier said then done disciplines:

Congregate: People work for people they like. Learn how to build collaborative teams and develop those all important relationships.  No one is successful by themselves. Together everyone achieves more. Always keep in mind that you need your people a great deal more than they need you.

Communicate: If you can’t communicate, then you can’t manage or lead others. If you can’t communicate in a language that others will understand – then whatever you say will mean absolutely nothing. You can never communicate too much. Be open and receptive to what others have to say. Give your people a voice.

Educate: People aren’t born knowing what they need to know – it’s a learned behavior. It’s your responsibility as a manager or leader to teach them the skills needed to take the organization to where it needs to go. Take the time to discover what your people do well and then put them in positions where they can play to their strengths.

Delegate: Surround yourself with people who do some things better than you do. You’ve got to give up control to get control. If you aren’t sharing some of your responsibilities with the people around you  – you are robbing them of their opportunity to grow. Resist the urge to micro-manage.

Copyright (C) 2013. Brian Smith. Excerpts taken from Brian’s soon to be published second book – “Leadership Lessons from a Reformed Control Freak – The Art of Managing and Leading in the 21st Century” (C) To find out more visit http://briansmithpld.com

Leading From The Back of The Pack 4

Geese in Flight (2)

Geese in Flight (2) (Photo credit: Johnath)

What do great Leaders and Geese have in common? They both give up control to get control. They both let others lead from time to time. Great  leaders know they don’t have to control everything all of the time. They don’t have to have all of the answers all of the time. They just have to surround themselves with people who do know – and then get out of their way and let them take the lead.

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere” – Ronald Regan

Let’s pretend for a moment that you’ve decided to give up some of your duties and you’ve decided you’re going to delegate some of them to those you feel are capable of and are willing to take on more responsibility. Think of all the tasks that you do and list them on a piece of paper. Now look over your list and circle the ones that only you can do. If you’re being completely honest with yourself there will be some things on that list that you haven’t circled. Those are the ones that you are going to give up.

“Never learn to do anything. If you don’t learn, you’ll always find someone else to do it” – Mark Twain

If you don’t delegate some of your duties and responsibilities you’re robbing your people of their opportunity to grow. If you don’t delegate some of your duties and responsibilities you won’t have time to step back and think about where the organization needs to be and how you and your team are going to get there. You need time to step back and see the big picture and have an idea where all the pieces are going to fit. If you don’t trust the people around you to do the task on their own – then why did you hire them in the first place?

“I’ve got an ego and all that, but I know I need help. So I hire the very best people” – Ross Perot

It’s important that you show trust and confidence in your people. Remember not to get too hung up on how they go about doing the task. Yes – you can give them some pointers here and there – but keep in mind that most people want to put their own stamp on things. The end result is not open for debate. Company standards must be maintained – but how we accomplish them can be. The key to great leadership is about “inclusion” not “exclusion”. Great leadership is about including others in the decision-making process. It doesn’t have to be just your way. The more that you allow your people to have input – the more likely it is – that they will want to come along.  The more likely it is that they will want to follow you. – 🙂

You Are What You Consistently Do 2

Every successful business has one. It defines who they are, what they are all about and how they expect everyone who works for the organization to conduct themselves. Their mission statement gives them a sense of purpose – a beacon that keeps them on course. Successful businesses never waver from it, not even for a moment. Every decision they make must be a reflection of it or they won’t do it. They must be true to it no matter what because to deviate from it would send out the wrong message. Successful businesses create it by putting a great deal of thought into it to ensure that it will stand up to any test. That it is a true reflection of what they believe is their reason for being. I’m talking about an organization’s mission statement. A declaration to their staff, clients and potential customers what they can expect if and when they choose to do business with them.

“Once you know the “Why” – the “How” will become clear”

You are in charge of “You” Inc. You are the President, CEO and Chairperson of you. What is your mission statement? Why are you here? What are you wanting to accomplish? Are you being true to you and what you’ve set out to be? Or are you veering off the course you set for yourself and need to make an adjustment to get back on track? Remember – It’s never too late to start a new beginning. It’s never to late to adjust your sails and steer your rutter in the right direction. One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. To be the person you wanted to be. Take a moment to reflect, recharge and rededicate yourself to completing your “Mission” in life. To living a purposeful life – a life a purpose.

“It is only when a person has their own generator that we can talk about motivation. He then needs no outside stimulation. He wants to do it” – Frederick Herzberg

Ask yourself – What do you want? What are you looking to accomplish? And what are you prepared to do to make it happen? The words coulda – shoulda – woulda – must not be part of your vocabulary. You are what you consistently do. Do those things that will help you fulfill your mission in life. Do those things that will help you live a purposeful life – the life that you envisioned for yourself. The more that you do them – the more they will become you. And I promise you – you will be better for it and so will the people around you. Cheers, 🙂