A few years ago, I worked with a group of executives selected to undertake some research into issues impacting employee engagement and innovation. The key finding of our study was the importance of trust in leadership as a foundation for job satisfaction, motivation, engagement and effectiveness. Additional primary research was conducted with over 100 staff members across the organization to better understand how, as leaders, we can create a culture of trust in both our organizations and our personal lives. The results showed the importance of being consistent, the need for a clear vision and strategy, personal integrity, sharing and delegation of power, open communication and a personal touch. The main findings are highlighted below.
Strong Leadership is Consistent
- Know what you stand for and then stick to it
- Establish a clear sense of direction and then let people know
- Follow through on your commitments
- Be supportive of staff’s work when issues get heated
- Be true to your word
- Treat everyone with respect
Don’t do the following:
Betray confidences, avoid hard decisions, forget your commitments, pick favorites, waste staff’s time and take credit for other people’s work, micromanage, ask for opinions and input if the decision is already made, and finally, don’t belittle people – it makes staff wonder what you say when they aren’t there.