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High Cost of Lost Trust in Leadership Position

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Clearly it will be extracted in hard-to-measure ways: Staffers may be less engaged in their work, less receptive to new ideas, less willing to follow the leader on the next offensive.Surprisingly, though, no one has directly measured the impact of walking the talk on the bottom line.

This shows that when employees sense an inconsistency between what their bosses say and do, it triggers a cascade of effects, depressing employees’ trust, commitment, and willingness to go the extra mile. These effects, we would include reduced customer satisfaction and increased employee turnover, harming profitability.

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You Don’t want to be called a hypocrite – it’s a Sticky Labels.

The label of “hypocrite” is stickier than its opposite. It takes evidence of only a single lie for a manager to be branded a “liar.” In contrast, a person has to tell a whole lot of truth to qualify as a “straight shooter.” Credibility, as we have all seen, is slow to build and quick to dissipate. A generally straightforward manager who is caught breaking an important promise will likely have trouble recovering.

Beware of Blind Spots

Of all the factors that can undermine behavioral integrity, among the most dangerous is managers’ inability to see an integrity problem in themselves. The issue often arises because of our natural desire to see ourselves as consistent. In many companies, a manager’s path to success seems to lie in verbal endorsements of espoused values, while his actual behavior is expected to align with certain implicit norms and standards that may be more widely accepted. For example, managers often talk about empowerment without actually yielding any power. When this happens, psychological defense mechanisms activate to divert the manager’s attention from the contradiction so he can feel better about himself. The self-deception tends to perpetuate the problem.

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Categories: Book Review

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