Investing Together in a Mutual Trust Fund

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to establish more trust in your relationships. Reading time: 3:03.

           The executive director showed up unexpectedly at the summer camp his organization sponsored. He made the rounds, inspected the facilities and noted the cracked window, the torn screen and the dirty walls.

        Then the executive confronted the camp director with the infractions. In a few hours the camp facilities were back in working order.

        Meanwhile on the other side of the lake, the executive director of another sponsoring organization showed up unexpectedly at their summer camp. She made no rounds. There was no inspection.

        She visited with the camp director and then together they walked randomly through the camp grounds without any predetermined itinerary to visit briefly with other counselors.

     The facilities were in good working order. No cracked windows. No torn screens. No dirty walls.

        To get good performance, leaders don’t have to inspect it. They EXPECT it.

         Yes, the adage is correct: management does get what management inspects. But that’s all it gets. No more.

      However, leaders with Great Expectations get even greater results. More than they expected. And much more than they could ever inspect.  High expectations net high performance as Booker T. Washington noted: “Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him and to let him know that you trust him.”

Trust is Sown More Than Sewn

          Trust is the thrust of that kind of consistent performance, the kind of trust that develops OVER TIME; the kind of trust that is sown more than sewn–not something stitched together IN TIME. Trust is sown with a variety of seeds including these nine from Stuart R. Levine and Michael A. Crom in their book The Leader in You :

“Recognize people.
Include them.
Encourage them.
Train them.
Ask their opinions.
Praise them.
Let them make decisions.
Give them the freedom to work as they see fit.
And convey your belief in their abilities
by getting out of the way.”

           Leaders and followers invest in a mutual trust fund with each other. Their trust in each other heightens and heartens their collective work performance. They trust in living up to each other’s expectations.

         They trust in fulfilling their responsibilities to each other.

        They come to expect FROM each other while paying respect TO each other.  With trust, they expect each other to continually provide what author Warren Bennis calls a “lubricant that makes it possible for organizations to work.”  And with trust, they respect each other’s ability to get the job done.

          Without an inspection, even at a remote campground.

Today’s ImproveMINT

Build trust to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

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