Check your ego
Our weaknesses are rooted in our strengths. When our egos get in the way, we see the traits that make us most effective (assertiveness, confidence, critical thinking) become our weaknesses (pushiness, arrogance, quarrelsomeness).
Trust is usually better defined by what it is not: politics, meetings
after the meeting, defensiveness, and ego-driven decision-making.
Once I was coaching a leader about his desire to constantly play politics in his organization, and he kept repeating to me that he was merely being diplomatic and seeking compromise wherever he could find it.
Somewhere, his lack of telling others what he was really thinking for fear of being rejected had become more important than the company’s results, which were suffering from his two-faced communication style. Eventually his inability to check his ego, trust his colleagues, and tell the unvarnished truth in kindness meant his untimely exit from the company.
One thing is certain: It can never be all about you (or me). In a survey we conduct with hospital teams, we have found that there is a particular question that bears a high correlation to performance: “We’re willing to live with problems if the organization’s money can be better used somewhere else. In fact, that is very cool with us.”
When a hospital contains individuals and teams that can answer “yes” to this statement, that hospital has a tremendous opportunity for high performance. The administration, physicians, management and staff have checked their egos.
If the hospitals with the untrusting nurses had expected the above behaviors from leaders, trust would not be as much of an issue there.
These principles work. Trust matters. Are you working hard each day to build trust by spotting ordinary greatness where you work and live?
Brian Jones is co-author of the book Ordinary Greatness (Wiley, 2009), which helps leaders develop greater levels of employee engagement in their companies.
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