Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Trustworthy Leader: Leveraging The Power Of Trust To Transform Your Organization By Amy Lyman

The Trustworthy Leader: Leveraging the Power of Trust to Transform Your Organization

The Trustworthy Leader: Leveraging The Power Of Trust To Transform Your Organization By Amy Lyman

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Product Description

How leaders from the best workplaces build trust in their organizations

The Trustworthy Leader reveals the benefits organizations enjoy when trustworthy behavior is practiced consistently by their leaders. Drawing from examples from the Best Companies to Work For, Lyman, cofounder of Great Place to Work® Institute, explains that being trustworthy means that leaders' behaviors are rooted in their commitment to the value of trust and not simply in an imitation of the practices of others. She identifies six elements that reflect a leader's trustworthiness: honor, inclusion, engaging followers, sharing information, developing others, and moving through uncertainty to pursue opportunities.

  • Features leaders from great companies such as REI, Wegman's, R.W. Baird, TDIndustries, and more
  • Based on more than 20 years of rigorous research into the value of trust in companies large and small and its link to financial and organizational performance
  • Published to coincide with the release of the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® 2012 list

This book offers a key to developing high levels of trust, a critical endeavor in an age when seemingly every day a story of a leader's lapse in ethical behavior makes headlines.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #234842 in Books
  • Published on: 2012-01-03
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: .0" h x .0" w x .0" l, .0 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 224 pages
Editorial Reviews Review

Q&A with Author Amy Lyman

One of the themes in the book is that trustworthy leaders have incomparable advantage in the marketplace. Why is this?
Trustworthy leaders succeed in the marketplace because their trustworthiness provides them with two key competitive advantages: first, they benefit from the cooperation of employees with each other, across departments, and throughout the organization as a whole; and second they engender a deep, strong commitment among employees to the long-term success of the company, its mission, and its vision as expressed by the leader.

All leaders want to promote cooperation and commitment among employees yet it is only with trustworthy behavior that these benefits can be fully realized. Beginning with honor and inclusion, trustworthy leaders bring all employees into the life of the organization. Respectful followership enables people to choose to follow their leaders, which is vital to the development of cooperation. By sharing information and developing others, leaders support their employees' ability to make strong commitments to the organization—they provide them with the information they need and the skills to use that information to further the mission and vision of the organization.

What is the stereotypical "mythical leader" and why are they less likely to be successful in the current marketplace?
The stereotypical mythical leader is the person who, through the exercise of power as control and force, faces down the challenges of the marketplace and leads his or her company to outstanding success. I say that this leader is "mythical" as the ideas for this stereotype really do come from mythology. Whether from ancient Greece or Babylon mythical stories are compelling, yet those stories do not represent the reality of what is needed for success in our current workplace environment. Yet the myth of the forceful, controlling leader as the standard to emulate continues to resonate with some people.

In The Trustworthy Leader I present many stories—not myths but true stories – that are deeply rooted in the reality of leaders' experiences today. The stories document the approach and strategies used by today's trustworthy leaders who have created stunningly successful organizations in which collaboration, creativity, and innovation thrive. These leaders are visible, active role models for others who want to become trustworthy in their leadership behavior.

One of the traits of trustworthy leaders is a fundamental and genuine belief in the value of others. What are some actions that trustworthy leaders can engage in to show those they lead how much they value them?
There are a number of ways that trustworthy leaders demonstrate their genuine belief in the value of others. First, they convey to people that they are important and valuable by showing a sincere interest in people first as human beings and second as employees. Providing special and unique benefits to everyone within the organization is another way in which employees gain a sense that leaders value them. These types of benefits offer much needed support to people in their professional and personal lives, affirming each person's individual value. Training and development programs that support people's professional development and career growth provide strong evidence that leaders are investing in the long-term success of employees. This indicates a commitment to the person, not just the immediate job they do. And, investments in professional development combined with employee involvement in decisions that affect how they do their work convey a leader's respect for each individual.

All of these actions convey a leader's belief that every member of the team and organization is valuable to the success of the group, providing solid evidence that when leaders say, "we're all in this together," they mean it.

What is the role of "choice" in the leader-follower relationship?
Many times employees feel obligated to follow a designated leader because they have no choice in the matter. Yet following out of obligation leads to compliance behavior—that is, people doing what they hope their leader wants them to do and fearing the consequences if they are wrong—which is not healthy for the long-term success of an enterprise.

Trustworthy leaders do all they can to ensure that people in their organizations choose to follow them because they share a commitment to the goals of the organization, not because they are compliant or afraid. When choice enters the leader-follower relationship, employees actively engage in an exchange of ideas, information, and contributions that support the production of higher quality work. Making the choice to follow someone provides the follower with greater dignity to engage in work activities, whatever these may be.

What are some examples of trustworthy leaders who have successfully navigated uncertainty to find opportunities?
In The Trustworthy Leader, I provide examples of leaders in a variety of industries who have tackled significant challenges within their organizations, leading people through uncertain times. I profile trustworthy leaders who have faced—and moved through—particularly complex uncertainty by relying on their trustworthy leadership practices. For example:

A number of health care leaders, facing the uncertainty of diminished reimbursements and changing insurance payments, have been able to cut costs and preserve the quality of their services by retraining staff and investing in and developing people. These trustworthy leaders have been able to harness the full potential and commitment of their in-house talent, which has also lead to the development of new service offerings.

In two retail grocery businesses, key executives have continued to provide high quality services and products to customers while maintaining benefits to employees even as rising health care expenses in this low-margin industry put pressure on profits. Training and development programs have also been enhanced, along with the development of career ladders for all employees.

In a financial services company, trustworthy leaders have stayed on the high road—earning the trust of their people by continuing to practice ethical leadership, supporting employees in making the right choices, and showing that it's not all about money and greed. These trustworthy leaders have lower turnover and higher profits at the same time that they provide greater profit sharing to all of their employees. Any organization in any industry will benefit from the positive impact of trustworthy leadership.

From the Inside Flap

Trust is an increasingly scarce commodity in the business world, and now more than ever, leaders who develop high-trust relationships within their organizations outshine the competition. Companies whose employees praise the high levels of trust in their workplace are, in fact, among the highest performers, beating the average annualized returns of the S&P 500 by a factor of three. How does a leader's trustworthiness propel an organization to excellence?

Since cofounding the Great Place to Work® Institute in 1991, Amy Lyman has devoted her career to that very question. In the hundreds of thousands of survey responses Great Place to Work analyzes each year, employees who love where they work point to trust as the key factor driving their commitment to contribute to their organization's success. Employees in great companies not only trust their leaders, they also value the trust their leaders bestow on them. In The Trustworthy Leader, Lyman draws on these twenty years of research and on extensive interviews to show how leaders actually build and maintain this foundation of trust in their workplaces.

Trustworthy leaders, she explains, typically follow a path she calls the Virtuous Circle, which has six distinct elements: honor, inclusion, engaging followers, sharing information, developing others, and moving through uncertainty. The stories of leaders from Best Companies—General Mills, REI, Mayo Clinic, Wegmans, and more—following this Virtuous Circle form the heart of the book.

The Trustworthy Leader is a key resource for all leaders who want to develop a high level of trust in their organizations.

From the Back Cover

Praise for The Trustworthy Leader

"Filled with well-told stories and personal portraits, The Trustworthy Leader shows what it takes for leaders to build trust at every level and how powerful an organization can become when trust is the tie that binds. You can't be special and compelling in the marketplace unless you create something special and compelling in the workplace. This must-read book shows you how to do just that."
—William C. Taylor, cofounder, Fast Company; author, Practically Radical

"Trust allows organizations to adapt and thrive in our rapidly changing world; yet many leaders who think they are worthy of trust end up not being trusted by their employees. In this well-researched book, Lyman articulates the leader's path to becoming both trustworthy and trusted. Anyone who aspires to lead in the 21st century needs to read this book."
—Jack Lowe, former CEO and current board chair, TDIndustries

"An engaging, inspiring, and thought-provoking picture of what it means to be a trustworthy leader. Lyman moves between the narratives of a diverse set of leaders and her insightful reflections on what makes them tick. A compelling primer for the leader in all of us."
—Mary C. Gentile, author, Giving Voice to Values

Trust is an increasingly scarce commodity in the business world, and now more than ever, leaders who develop high-trust relationships within their organizations outshine the competition. Companies whose employees praise the high levels of trust in their workplace are, in fact, among the highest performers, beating the average annualized returns of the S&P 500 by a factor of three. How does a leader's trustworthiness propel an organization to excellence?

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
4Interesting perspectives on trustworthiness
By John Gibbs
Trust is a stabilizing force in our lives; when you present yourself as trustworthy, you diminish the negative effects of uncertainty; by being trustworthy, you help people open their minds and share their ideas, according to Amy Lyman in this book. The author was co-founder of the Great Place to Work Institute, which surveys the quality of relationships between employees and their leaders, and much of the content of the book is based on interviews with leaders from organizations identified as high-trust workplaces.

Three key characteristics found in trustworthy leaders are credibility, respect and fairness. According to the author, such leaders consistently follow a pattern which she calls the Virtuous Circle of Trustworthy Leadership, which has the following six elements:

* Honour: Trustworthy leaders feel honoured for being asked to lead, and acknowledge the responsibility that comes with it
* Inclusion: Trustworthy leaders are inclusive towards everyone in the organization's community
* Value and engage followers: Trustworthy leaders connect with followers as people, learn from them and support their contributions
* Sharing information: Trustworthy leaders give employees access to useful information and invite them into the discussion
* Developing others: Trustworthy leaders help employees to learn, grow, and discover their talents
* Movement through uncertainty to pursue opportunities: Trustworthy leaders have the support of employees in trying novel approaches and finding the best way forward

Although the author has made no ground-breaking discoveries, the book does provide an interesting new perspective on the key factors which contribute to trustworthiness in leaders, and makes a strong case for the proposition that a good leader is a virtuous one. I did not find the book to be as engrossing as some other business books, but it does provide helpful insights for those who have leadership roles.


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