Leadership: The Power of Trust & Respect
Dysfunctional organizations sometimes struggle to figure out the “why” behind their inadequacies. While there are often many reasons an organization isn’t maximizing its potential, the key could be simple: lack of trust and respect in leadership.
Let’s get down to basics. What do we mean when we talk about trust and respect? Trust is defined as “reliance on the integrity and strength of a person,” and respect is defined as “a deep admiration of someone’s abilities.”
The two go hand-in-hand. It’s impossible to function successfully as an organization if team members feel that one or both attributes are missing in leadership. For example, you can respect a leader for their intelligence, their gift for making the complex clear, and their ability to set obtainable goals. But, if you don’t trust the motivation or character of this leader, the team will be weakened at some level. Conversely, you can trust a leader for their values, integrity, and desire to do the right thing. But if you don’t respect that leader’s ability to set strategic objectives, drive YOY sales based on measurable initiatives, and be a problem-solver, the organization’s strength is diminished.
How important are trust and respect? As author Stephen M.R. Covey, one of the world’s leading authorities on trust and leadership, writes, “Trust is the glue to life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” He maintains that the speed with which trust is established—with clients, employees and all stakeholders—is the single most critical component of a successful leader and organization. And the benefits of trust at work are actually measurable. Research by Harvard Business Review found that compared to people at low trust companies, people at high trust companies reported:
- 74% less stress
- 106% more energy
- 50% higher productivity
- 13% fewer sick days
- 76% more engagement
- 29% more satisfaction with their lives
- 40% less burnout
Trust often suffers when leaders are short-sighted—focusing exclusively on revenues or compliance—rather than long-term values. When that happens, people operate from a place of fear—afraid to ask questions, offer meaningful suggestions, or bring up genuine concerns. A culture of fear hinders innovation and growth. If your organization suspects lack of trust and respect as the root cause of poor performance, it’s worth engaging an outside consultant to assess leadership and the work culture. It could mean the difference between succeeding and not succeeding as an organization.
To build a culture of trust, lead by example. Clarity, compassion, commitment, and connection make all the difference. Here at T-ROC, we have a set of core values that are instilled by our CEO, Brett Beveridge, and talked about regularly from the day we are hired. These core values all involve a culture of trust and respect:
- Be entrepreneurial
- Work honestly and with integrity
- Embrace change and the learning that change requires
- Amaze our customers
- Have fun and never take ourselves too seriously
I’m at T-ROC because our CEO, Brett Beveridge, lives and breathes these core values… they’re infused in everything we do—how we treat colleagues, clients, and the community. I’d welcome the opportunity to discuss the “T-ROC Difference” if you have a need for training, brand ambassador work, customized reporting, or technology that allows your customers to speak to a live agent via a scan of a QR code. We’d be honored to share our T-ROC culture with your organization!
Mary Jo Liesch (MJ) is Vice President of Business Development with T-ROC, a global retail solutions provider. To learn more about how MJ and T-ROC can work with your brand or manufacturer on innovative solutions, you can reach her at [email protected].