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leadership experience
twenty years
health care
Leadership: Why Trust Matters
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"Do you trust me?" I asked Elliott, my director of rehab. Nice opening question, but I thought I could tell him why trust in leadership was important despite his upfrontedness.

"Yes," he said without hesitation. He held my gaze and smiled, "What's your point?"

"Well, you asked me if I thought I was a good manager."

"Yes," he confirmed. Not at all aware of how bold his question had been.

"Trust," I said, "is an indicator I like to use to measure my effectiveness." I had twenty years of leadership experience in health care to back me. I had held regional management positions, director level jobs, and two stints as a CEO to back my words.

His face questioned me.

"You see, if you trust me," I paused. "Trust that my intentions are pure, that I have your best interests as my best interests, then you won't waste time and energy thinking about those things."

"Your right," he answered. "I don't worry about those things at all. I know you care about me, about us, and you do put us first."

"So," I continued, "by not having to spend your time and energy thinking about trusting me or not, you are free to just focus on your job. In a sense, not being bogged down with worry helps to improve your efficiency."

"I see, so I, we all, work a bit faster."

"Exactly," I answered. "and by being more efficient, faster," I chose his word, "it saves us in costs."

He nodded, "less salary cost to do the job."


"So basically, you get more work out of us by our trusting you."

"Don't make that sound like a bad thing," I laughed.

"No, I wasn't," Elliott responded. "I just was thinking about it out loud."

While I had his attention, I was not going to let it go. "Not only do we save in cost based on salaries and efficiency, I would argue that we get a better result all the way around."

His face sort of pinched.

"If you know trust me, and are able to work a bit faster and more efficiently, saving us costs," I said, "Then I would argue that by creating this environment, the next time an issue arises that needs attention, you won't hesitate to bring it to my attention."

"I am constantly bringing you issues," he affirmed.

"Right, and we deal with them together, right then. This helps us keep the positive environment and improves are results. Agreed?" I posed.

"Agreed. I would have never have put trust and leadership together like that before," he said.

"Maybe not verbally, "I said, "but you do it all the time in your own position of leadership. Your staff has total trust in you. That is a leadership quality to nuture and develop. The stronger your teams trust in you, the more efficiently they work, the less the cost, and the better the outcome."

"I guess I haven't given you enough credit," he joked. "I thought you did not do a lot around here, but all this time, you have been building," he paused.

"Building trust," we said in unison.

Build your leadership skills, by building trust.

Thanks for reading.

Street Talk

I love your Articles. I can't wait to read more. Love, Mom (I figure she say that.) Please comment.

  about 1 decade ago
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