Nine Steps Leaders Can Take to Build Trust - Slide 7

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Don’t squelch the flow of “bad” news. Do you (or others under you) shoot the messenger when she brings you bad news? If so, you can be certain that the messenger’s priority is not bringing you the information you need: It’s protecting her own hide. That’s why in most organizations good news zooms to the top of the organization, while bad news — data that reveals goals missed, problems lurking, or feedback that challenges or defeats your strategy — flows uphill like molasses in January.

Corporate leaders as a group have largely failed to earn the trust of their employees, and that includes IT managers, who may be particularly lacking in some of the qualities that define a trusted leader.

That’s the assessment of John Hamm, a Silicon Valley-based venture capitalist, leadership advisor and author of the book, “Unusually Excellent: The Necessary Nine Skills Required for the Practice of Great Leadership.” Don Tennant recently spoke with Hamm, who made it clear that he sees among employees in corporate America a widespread lack of trust of those in authority in their companies, and that the fault lies squarely with the leaders. What lies at the heart of this failure to earn employee trust isn’t maliciousness, Hamm said. It’s obliviousness.

In his book, Hamm has outlined some steps leaders can take to build trust in their companies. Those steps are highlighted in this slideshow.

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