Thursday, July 20, 2006

Trust is contagious

Business Times p.B2
Thursday, July 20, 2006

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Trust is contagious

TRUST building is at the core of the work of a leader. Establishing trust is an important step to enabling you and everyone in your entire organization to take more physical and emotional risks.

According to authors Robert Galford and Anne Seibold Drapeau, leaders who cultivate a culture of trust reap identifiable advantages. Some of which are: trust frees people, fuels passion, provides focus, fosters innovation, gives people time to get things right and lowers costs.

The other benefit of trusted leadership is that it is contagious. Everyone in your organization knows it when they are trusted and they are bound to trust in return. The internal trust helps build more of it up and down your supply chain, from vendors to customers. Trust inside builds trust outside.

Trust is empowering. Frontliners, particularly, need all the trust they could get from their leaders to serve customers best. Frontline leaders, likewise, need the trust of higher management in order to serve their subordinates better.

I really like to shop, for example, in a place where the salespeople could make decisions on discounts, returns and others without having to call the manager or cringe in fear of consequences of their action. These critical incidents tell me how much trust management has on their service providers.

When there is no trust, you can be certain the owners/leaders of the establishment have not gone on vacation even for a single day since day one of their operation.

According to Galford and Drapeau, “trusted leadership helps recruit people who are on the same wavelength. When people are genuinely enthusiastic about where they work (because they are trusted), it is much easier for them and for the organization to engage with prospective employees and convey exactly what the organization is about. Trusted leadership helps make the right match between people with great experience and skill and your organization.”

Corollary, trusted leadership helps retain great employees. “Whenever someone leaves one organization for another or to pursue independent work, the move is usually motivated more by issues of personal and organization trust than it is by issues of compensation or title.”

It is often said, because of our labor laws, that you could simply mark time until your retirement; you don’t need to be a great contributor to the success of your organization. But you could get fired anytime or fire somebody readily because of lack of trust.

People join organizations; they leave leaders they don’t trust. Remember it costs more to recruit, hire and develop new employees than to maintain great ones.

The implications are enormous according to the book Trusted Leadership, “Consider the average tenure for employees has decline in the past 20 years. People in every single age group, 25-64, spent less time with the same employer. In some cases, the median tenure with employers dropped by as much as two years a person. If most of the people who shift jobs are doing so because of trust issues, they’re naturally moving on more cautiously. They’re jaded, suspicious going forward, less likely to extend trust in their next work environment. Lack of trusted leadership has potentially broad societal and cultural, psychological and emotional impact that are genuinely frightening to consider.”

Finally, trusted leadership improves the quality of work. “With trusted leadership, there is teamwork. With teamwork, people help one another do the business of the company; improved quality is a natural byproduct.”

Trust is vital in establishing an atmosphere of safe, honest participation for people to become contributors.

Again, Taiwan is inviting to their Summit on Globalization of Human Resources 2006 in Taipei this September 22 and 23. Please go to for details or e-mail to

Moje, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp., could be reached at

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Best choice is to trust

Learning & Innovation – July 13, 2006
By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM

Best choice is to trust

Previously we were discussing why we need to stick our neck out and simply trust people, the system, the organization and others. Do we have a choice?

Maybe, there are people and organizations with less than decent or virtuous motives—e.g. those who swindle people of their lifetime savings through pyramid business schemes or those with vicious mindset—maybe. Still in our day-to-day social and business life, the people we meet or the organization to which we belong or the system and conditions under which we operate are meant to support us fulfill our goals and objectives. Tell me, how many of the people you know you could trust? Otherwise, you wouldn’t even throw them a glance or give them a thought.

Leaders, especially, need to trust and earn trust. Authors Robert Galford and Anne Seibord Drapeau tell us why in their book, The Trusted Leader. The first three benefits are that trusted leadership frees people, fuels passion and provides focus.

Likewise, trusted leadership fosters innovation. “When people don’t feel that they have to analyze every last little thing through a lens of distrust, they can spend time, instead, exploring new ways to solve problems or to take the company forward, without fear that their won actions are going to be misperceived as wasteful. At some companies, that kind of exploration is built into the job descriptions, and trusted leaders allow it to happen. People can tinker and they often emerge with great results.”

In our personal dealings, trusting leads us to creatively and jointly solve problems, instead of blaming. We focus on what we could do and do differently, not on collecting excuses for failures.

Trusted leadership gives people the time to get it right. “As you can see, all of these benefits of trusted leadership are interwoven; they feed upon and build upon one another. When leaders do not encourage freedom and focus, people tend to make decisions too quickly; they want to produce results so that the spotlight can be off them and on to the next person as quickly as possible. They pass the ball and pass the buck and just get out an answer—any answer—so that they can claim closure. With trust, it’s OK if the buck stops at you for a while. People feel free to say, ‘I need more time to get this right.’ They don’t just get it done; they get the right thing done.”

When we personally trust or be trusted, we allow people to do right without rushing or constantly checking on them. A sense of urgency is important, but we allow those we trust to use their time judiciously and take extra time when needed. We don’t simply go around accusing people of slacking. Lack of trust make people pretend to be busy without real accomplishment.

Trusted leadership lowers costs. Trusting relationships, personal or business, work at improving their communication process and style. There is nothing better than discussing and ironing out kinks from the very start, than argue all the way to an unseen ending. Nobody ever quantifies the cost of having to argue about some things all the time. Trust allows people to clarify and agree of expectations—deadlines, resources needed, quality standards, etc.

I trust that you will read the next column for more on trust.

Taiwan is inviting to their Summit on Globalization of Human Resources 2006 in Taipei this September 22 & 23. “Our goals for the summit are to raise competitiveness of the diverse global interests of business executives and HR professionals, to enhance greater participation in international exchange and cooperation and, by doing so, to promote the Human Resource Development movement locally, nationally and internationally.”

Please go to for details or email to

(Moje, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp, could be reached at