Category Archives: Uncategorized

POSITION : Way to Leadership

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The Upside of Position

When a person gains a leadership position, it is usually because someone with authority perceives talent and potential in that person. In the beginning, this person has limited power. Most leaders need to prove themselves before they are given more responsibilities.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.43.54 pmValues are the soul of leadership and they drive behavior. Before leaders can grow and mature, they must have a clear understanding of their values and commit to living consistently with them. Successful leaders must fully understand what they believe in three key areas:

1. Ethical Values: What does it mean to do the right thing for the right reason?

2. Relational Values: How does a person build an environment of trust and respect with others?

3. Success Values: What goals are worth spending a life on?

The Downside of Position

People who rely on their positions invariably place a high value on holding on to those positions above everything else they do. This attitude does nothing to promote good relationships with others. These positional leaders often make other people feel small by not genuinely believing in them. They assume people cannot instead of assuming that theycan; they assume people will not rather than believing that they will; and they view people as liabilities instead of assets.

Positional leaders focus on getting the largest staff and the biggest budget they can — not for the benefit of their organizations, but so they can expand and defend their turfs. This action often incites others to do the same, creating a vicious cycle of gamesmanship, posturing, and maneuvering. This often results in departmental rivalries and silos.

When people use their positions to lead others for a long time and fail to develop influence, they become branded as positional leaders and rarely get opportunities for advancement. The people who work for them often use the limits of their job descriptions as leverage, doing only what is required of them.

The single greatest hindrance to a leader’s growth is becoming positional in his thinking. When a person thinks he has arrived — no matter where his position is in the organization — he has lowered expectations for himself, sold his leadership short, and fallen into a no-growth mindset.

Leadership development is a lifelong process. Leaders with a position mind-set need to think, “Today I received a leadership position. I will endeavor to become a better leader every day.”

Beliefs That Help a Leader Move Up to Level 2

There are four statements a leader must embrace internally before being able to change from a positional leader to a permissional one:

1. Titles Are Not Enough: Knowledge that titles have little real value and that position is the lowest level of leadership brings a healthy dissatisfaction with Level 1 as well as a desire to grow. Leadership is meant to be active and dynamic. Its purpose is to create positive change.

2. People — Not Position — Are a Leader’s Most Valuable Asset: A leader cannot focus on rules and procedures to get things done or keep things going. The reality is that people get things done, not the playbook they use. Relying on position is not the ideal way to get the most out of people. People must be put ahead of position.

3. A Leader Does Not Need to Have All the Answers: A leader’s job is not to know everything, but to attract people who know things he does not.

4. A Good Leader Always Includes Others: Stand-alone leadership does not lead to teamwork, collaboration, or high achievement. Moving from Level 1 to Level 2 requires a change of attitudes toward other people. Others must be included in the leadership journey.

Guide to Growing Through Level 1

Leaders can use these guidelines to plan Level 1 growth:

*Write a declaration of commitment to growth that describes what actions will contribute and how it will be approached. Sign and date the declaration. Put it someplace safe for future reference.

*Answer three questions to describe the type of leadership desired:

  1. Who am I?
  2. What are my values?
  3. What leadership practices do I want to put in place?

*Shift from positional leadership to potential leadership. Rewrite goals to embrace a non-positional mind-set.

*Focus on the vision. Write down the vision of the organization and how the team helps to contribute to that vision. Then write down specific ways to make it easier for team members to help fulfill that vision.

*Find a leadership coach. Ask someone to serve as a coach or mentor. Meet with that person 4 to 12 times a year. Plan what questions to ask and what type of advice is needed to solve specific problems.

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The Practice of Innovation

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Simply understanding the source of innovative opportunities is not enough. People must understand the principles of innovation and how to use new ideas successfully. The principles include several do’s and don’ts. The do’s include:

*Thinking through the sources of innovation.

*Going out to observe, seek, and listen to the trends of public opinion.

*Producing innovations that are clear and simple.

*Starting small.

*Aiming toward leadership. If innovations do not aim at leadership from the beginning, they will unlikely be innovative or capable enough to establish themselves in the market.

The don’ts of innovation include:

*Trying too hard to be clever.

*Being unusable without necessary training.

*Diversifying into too many things at once.

*Innovating for the future. Unless there is an immediate application of a product or system, it is unlikely to be successful.

The last piece of advice Drucker offers on the subject of learning the skill of innovation is the importance of three conditions:

  1. Innovation requires work, ingenuity, focus, and talent to be successful.
  2. To succeed, innovators must build on their strengths.
  3. Innovation must be focused on and driven by the market.

By combining these principles and sources of opportunity, everyone can be innovative leaders in their industries, despite whether they are private or public.PRISM

 THE PRACTICE OF INNOVATION

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The first step to understanding entrepreneurship is realizing that it is futile without innovation. Innovation is the means by which an entrepreneur exploits change as an opportunity for a new or different business or service. As such, innovation is very much a discipline that can be learned and should be practiced.

Learning the discipline of innovation starts with the seven sources of innovative Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.28.41 pmopportunity. While they could be considered symptoms, they are actually highly reliable indications that changes are happening in any given industry.

Source #1: The Unexpected

Perhaps the richest of opportunities for innovation success comes from unexpected success. This is the path by which entrepreneurs meet the least amount of risk and least arduous pursuits. More often than not, unexpected success appears in an existing company’s blind spot. Currently, management teams are trained to comb through reports that highlight expected results, so that unexpected success is left unexplored and vulnerable for exploitation. Drucker advises that reports must be revamped to include all results so that people can analyze their businesses properly and, more importantly, look for innovative opportunities.

Unexpected failures rarely go unnoticed; however, they are seldom seen as symptoms for opportunity. Executives typically call for more reports and more studies to analyze failures, but instead should be stepping out to investigate possible situations. Understanding customers’ experiences (i.e., the true reality of a product) is how to exploit opportunities of an unexpected failure.

Source #2: Incongruities

Stemming from unexpected failures, the second source, incongruities, appears when there is a dissonance between what is and what “ought to be.” It invites innovators to investigate why results are not lining up with expectations and what can be done to exploit opportunities. The only major downside to this source of innovation is that it is largely only apparent to industry insiders. Someone from the outside is not likely to spot or understand any type of incongruity, no matter which form it takes. Incongruity appears in several different ways, including:

*Incongruity between the economic realities of an industry.

*Incongruity between the reality and the assumptions about an industry.

*Incongruity between the efforts of an industry and the values and expectations of its customers.

*Internal incongruity within the rhythm or the logic of an existing process.

Of all the incongruities, that between perceived and actual reality may be the most common due to the fact that producers and suppliers almost always misinterpret what customers actually buy and why.

Source #3: Process Needs

New and existing businesses alike can lead innovation in their industries using process needs as a source for opportunity. Here, existing processes are perfected, replaced, or redesigned around newly available knowledge. Sometimes it gives light to a whole new process by providing “missing links” for different industries. Drucker, however, advises that the most common place to look for process needs are not missing links, but demographics and incongruities–both of which give ample opportunity and are largely overlooked.

Innovators seeking to exploit process need opportunities must understand that they will not be successful unless their processes are self-contained, there is only one missing or weak leak, clear objectives and solutions are defined, and there is a widespread belief that there could be a better way to do business. Without a thorough analysis and strategy of all these criteria, innovations are likely to be unsuccessful.

Source #4: Industry and Market Structures

Next, Drucker moves onto the sources of opportunity that can be seen by industry outsiders–the most critical of which are the structures that comprise industries. Indeed, industry and market structures appear so solid to people within specific industries that they are likely to consider them certain to endure forever. However, Drucker points out that most industry structures are actually quite brittle. To most outsiders, industry structures are highly visible and predictable and can innovate under the radar quickly and with relatively low risk. Meanwhile, insiders continue to assume their positions are permanent. There are four near-certain indicators of industry structure changes that individuals must keep an eye out for:

  1. Rapid growth of an industry.
  2. Changes in the way the services or products are perceived in the market.
  3. Convergence of technologies that before had seemed distinctly separate.
  4. Rapid changes in the way business is conducted.

Innovators must always scan for these four indicators if they want to be at the forefront of their industries’ structural revolutions.

Source #5: Demographics

Demographics are part of the external changes that lead to innovative opportunities. Of all the external changes, demographics are the most unambiguous. They include any changes in population, including its size, age structure, composition, employment, educational status, and income. Executives in any industry typically do not pay close attention to demographics because they have the most lead time; that is, they occur over such a long time span that they appear to be of little concern.

Source #6: Changes in Perception

Changes in perception include any shift in public opinion. While the facts often do not change, their meaning to the public does. This can lead to innovative opportunity, but Drucker warns that it is a dangerous source because it is hard to distinguish between a genuine change and a short-lived fad. However, done correctly, this can be an excellent source of innovation for entrepreneurs.

Source #7: New Knowledge

New knowledge is perhaps the flashiest of all innovation as it gets the most publicity. While most sources for opportunity have overlapping themes with one or more other sources, new knowledge differs greatly from the rest. First, it has the longest lead time because innovations are essentially started from scratch. Secondly, knowledge-based innovations are almost never based on one factor, but on the convergence of multiple knowledge sources. Not until these sources of knowledge are analyzed and understood will innovations be successful.

Knowledge-based innovations also carry great risks. They must be solid both in product and business structure when they hit the market, otherwise a company will have introduced a new technology which other, more stable businesses will couple with their strengths to render the new business obsolete.

Project Oxygen

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Convincing high-achieving, independent, autonomous engineers that managers are valuable assets that can improve the work environment is a daunting task, but Google set out to do just that with its multi-year Project Oxygen research initiative. Based on the belief that the best way to win the hearts and minds of knowledge workers was through scientific methodology, the initiative was heavily data-dependent and constructed to test assumptions.

Project Oxygen sought to identify the behaviors representative of good managers and provide actionable guidance for managers so they could improve going forward. According to the data, the most effective managers:

  1. Are good coaches.
  2. Empower their teams and do not micromanage.
  3. Express interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being.
  4. Are productive and results oriented.
  5. Communicate well, including listening and sharing information.
  6. Help with career development.
  7. Have clear visions and strategies.
  8. Possess key technical skills that enhance advisory capabilities.

The program has won great favor with both employees and managers, convinced skeptics, and yielded significant and measurable improvement results.

TIME EFFECTIVENESS

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Time is a precious and scarce resource. Once it is spent it cannot be replaced. However, time is routinely squandered in the business world thanks to excessive emails, unnecessary meetings, and unjustified initiatives.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 6.02.40 pmBecause time is such a valuable commodity (and can be quantified monetarily), business professionals must learn to manage their time as carefully as they manage their money. The following eight practices can go a long way toward making the time a company and its employees spend worth the investment:

  1. Make sure there is a clear and selective agenda for every activity.
  2. Create a time budget that resets at zero.
  3. Insist that every initiative have a compelling business case before approval and implementation.
  4. Standardize and simplify processes and share management across all business units.
  5. Identify the proper authority for approving time investments and treat those investments like financial investments.
  6. Create standardized decision-making processes.
  7. Improve the quality of meetings by requiring clear, objective-based agendas, advance preparation, an on-time start, and an early ending whenever possible.
  8. Monitor and measure time spent across the organization to understand where time is wasted.

Contextual Intelligence

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In today’s global economy, companies routinely expand into new geographies, applying their successful business and operational models to new locales. Routinely, many of these businesses fail. By operating from the principle that what works well in one place should work just as well in another (with minor tweaks), companies frequently do not recognize how much context matters.

There are numerous contextual factors at play (including government regulations, infrastructures, and cultural norms) in various geographies that can derail even the most successful operational models. Understanding and adapting business and operational models to these new contexts is not a simple matter. But it can be done.

The first step in overcoming this problem is developing contextual intelligence — the ability to recognize knowledge limits and adapt them to new environments. Contextual intelligence enables an entity to gain deep insight to the contextual differences between geographies and then make the best decisions about how to alter, redefine, deconstruct/reconstruct, or completely abandon a business model in order to successfully expand into a new environment. Sometimes the best decision is to not expand at all.

Common practices in acquiring contextual intelligence include hiring cultural natives, creating local partnerships, and conducting cross-disciplinary training. Additional suggestions for improving contextual intelligence are:

*Researching a country’s institutional context.

*Recognizing that not all countries will migrate to a free-market economy.

*Understanding that geographic differences are often multi-layered, complex, and not easily generalized.

*Experimenting with new models and taking an entrepreneurial approach.

*Learning to distinguish between the general and the specific.

*Realizing that change can take a very long time.

*Creating data in-house rather than relying on others’ data.

*Being patient.

SPECIAL MODEL

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How to Make People Feel S.P.E.C.I.A.L.

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Oftentimes, people stop getting along with each other because one of them no longer feels important, but ISTD makes people feel special. The cause can be as simple as someone believing they have been overlooked or disregarded. There are seven ways to make sure this does not happen and that people feel S.P.E.C.I.A.L.:

1. Serve. Be eager to serve, and by meeting other’s needs there is a good chance that people will meet their own needs as well.

2. Personalize. Personalize engagements with others. Use the names of clients, family members, and friends when talking with them and anticipate their needs.

3. Encourage. Encouragement can take many forms, but it should be given regularly and often. It can be as quick and succinct as a text message or brief email.

4. Courtesy. Show respect and civility toward others. Say “please” and “thank you.” Think about the needs of others and act on promises.

5. Interest. Express an interest in others and follow-up by really listening to what the other person has to say.

6. Appreciation. Make time to show appreciation of others and put some effort into it.

7. Listen. No one wants to talk to someone who is preoccupied. Really listening and paying attention to others is a very valuable skill.

Integrate New Ideas

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Companies seem to continually be on the lookout for the next new management practice that promises to improve organizational effectiveness. In this effort, they all too often look to emulate other companies that have implemented successful managerial innovations. However, this tendency can be very risky, costly, and demoralizing. What works well for one organization could be very dysfunctional in another. This is because organizations are often very different from one another, and those differences can derail even the most enticing innovation.

There are basically two methods companies use to integrate new ideas into their organizations:

  1. The observe and apply approach, which works well when companies are very similar to one another and their management practices consist of just a few standalone steps.
  2. The extract the central idea approach, which removes all the contextual issues that make organizations different from one another (such as size, organizational structure, and culture). This approach seeks to capture the key principles behind the practice then apply them in a way that easily fits within the organization.

Any organization looking to make a change should first develop a strong sense of corporate self-awareness, then adhere to the following structured process for evaluating and implementing the change:

  1. Take the time to observe the practice in other companies first.
  2. Perform a thorough analysis of the essence of the practice.
  3. Understand the hypothesis behind the practice.
  4. Analyze the results other companies have achieved with the practice.
  5. Experiment in-house.

SMART TRUST

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THE FIVE ACTIONS OF SMART TRUST

There are five actions of smart trust:

  1. Choose to believe in trust.
  2. Start with self.
  3. Declare your intent … and assume positive intent in others.
  4. Do what you say you are going to do.
  5. Lead out in extending trust to others.

There is a dramatically increasing number of people and organizations everywhere engaging in the five Actions of Smart Trust–thereby avoiding their opposites and counterfeits–and getting remarkable results, according to Covey and Link.

ACTION 1: CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IN TRUST

Belief in trust is the first smart trust action that the authors consider, and it’s no accident that it’s number one. Belief is essential to getting results, and is the foundation of success. Deciding to believe in trust is the basic choice from which all of the other smart trust actions emanate. However, this belief in trust is not a now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t thing, done only for convenience, appearance, or when there’s no risk involved. Trust has to be the underlying approach that determines day-to-day actions.

Among the companies offered as examples is W.L. Gore & Associates. Founder Bill Gore believed in trust so greatly that he set up what is known as a “lattice organization” that still exists. Employees are considered “associates,” and rate one another’s contributions. A new CEO was chosen in 2005 based on employee feedback of who they would like to follow.

The authors note that many organizations tend to be based on a top-down structure, and an assumption that people cannot be trusted. However, the highest form of control does not come from reams of rules and regulations, but from a high-trust culture.

An extraordinary example of trust–and all the good that can come from it–occurred in 2007, when Ted Morgan, CEO of Skyhook, got a call out of the blue from Steve Jobs of Apple, who was considering using the company’s technology. After fruitlessly trying to get Skyhook’s technology noticed, it seemed as if this was the company’s big opportunity. However, before the deal was done there was an Apple event, and Jobs needed Skyhook’s code to showcase its products there. The code was the key to Skyhook’s technology, and Morgan was advised not to give it out. However, he trusted Jobs, gave him the code, and was rewarded when Jobs showed off Skyhook’s technology to an eager audience. Skyhook took off from there, thanks to a single act of trust between Morgan and Jobs. Who knows what would have happened if Morgan had refused Jobs.

It can be hard to overcome life experiences–ones that have quite possibly led to distrust. However, it can be done. Trust glasses can be put on and used to view the world and govern actions. If a person believes in trust, they can trust. Covey and Link are convinced that developing a belief in trust is the most powerful thing people can do to begin to access the benefits of trust in their lives.

ACTION 2: START WITH SELF

The second smart trust action is to start with self. It is not enough to believe in trust; trust has to begin somewhere. Individuals, leaders, teams, and organizations that operate successfully in today’s world also behave in ways that grow out of that belief. It takes both character and competence to give a person the confidence to not only trust themselves, but inspire others to trust them as well. Self-trust affects not only a person’s worthiness to be trusted, but also the way people see and interact with others. The authors go outside the business realm to offer as an illustration the story of how a young rookie for the Los Angeles Lakers named Magic Johnson rose to the occasion in his team’s 1980 championship series with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers’ regular center, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, was injured, so Johnson filled in and led his team to victory. He drew on the trust in his own character and competence to inspire the Lakers to victory. It was not ego–self-trust is never ego, arrogance, or bravado–but a quiet confidence –a trust in his own abilities that compelled him.

Other examples of people with the capacity to be trusted include Peter Aceto, head of ING Direct Canada, who trusted himself enough to ask his employees outright if he should stay on, and John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach who committed to the school when another came calling because he had given his word to UCLA. Another example of a person who has self-trust is Almaz Gebremedhin, a cleaning lady and single parent who put all five of her children through Penn State and was named Good Morning America’s Woman of the Year.

Self-trust works for countries as well. In Denmark, 88.8 percent of the people express a high level of trust in others. Denmark is one of the most productive countries in the world, considered the happiest nation in the world, has the least corruption (along with New Zealand and Singapore), ranks number two on the prosperity index, and has the fifth highest GDP in the world.

The authors also examine some companies that once had great trust then lost it. One is Johnson & Johnson, which established great trust in the Tylenol crisis of 1982, then badly fumbled their handling of the Motrin situation in 2008. Another is Toyota, which had established a deep bond of trust with its customers that was shattered when the company mishandled an incident with sticking accelerators.

Restoring trust is much more difficult than establishing trust. Take, for example, the story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. A notorious con man early in life, he turned his life around and restored trust in himself as a security consultant who helped expose potential security system faults for businesses.

ACTION 3: DECLARE YOUR INTENT … AND ASSUME POSITIVE INTENT IN OTHERS

The third smart trust action is to declare your intent and assume positive intent in others. To declare intent, a person is signaling his behavior to others, telling people why an intended action is going to occur. As an example, the authors talk about the Charlotte County, Florida, school district. A hurricane devastated some of their facilities. The district superintendent called a meeting and declared his intent that all employees were going to be paid as soon as possible and that no jobs would be cut. As a result, the district built a strong trust with their employees, one that has carried over to contract negotiations and beyond. Two other famous cases of declared intent are Babe Ruth indicating that he was going to hit a home run on the next pitch and then doing it, and President John F. Kennedy declaring America’s intent to reach the moon by the end of the 1960s.

Declaring intent is a performance multiplier that provides numerous benefits. It creates context, inspires hope, encourages reciprocity, and shows respect for others. It also increases trust. Eli Lilly Chairman and CEO John Lechleiter said: “We’ve learned that the best way of building trust is by letting people see for themselves what we’re doing.”

Failure to declare intent will usually cause people to react in one of two ways: Either they will try to guess intent, or they will project their own intent. In low-trust organizations, the guess is usually a worst-case scenario. A low-trust relationship will cause people to project their fears, suspicions, and worries more often than their hopes and dreams. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “The moment there is suspicion about a person’s motives, everything he does becomes tainted.”

Declaring intent builds trust fastest if the intent is based on caring and mutual benefit. No motive builds trust as quickly and deeply as the motive of caring. Numerous examples are given of caring intent, such as Zappos’ slogan: “Zappos is about delivering happiness to the world.” Another example is Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey, who said: “Ultimately we cannot create high-trust organizations without creating cultures based on love and care.” Other examples of caring intent include PepsiCo, whose mantra is “Performance with Purpose,” and Procter & Gamble, which strives for “purpose-inspired growth,” evidenced by its giveaway of a water purification powder that resulted in the creation of the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program.

Most effective leaders assume positive intent, which is an extension of trust. The act of assuming good intent changes the dynamic of a relationship. It inspires reciprocity. It leads to trust-building behaviors. It creates a virtuous upward cycle of trust and confidence rather than a vicious downward cycle of suspicion and distrust.

ACTION 4: DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU’RE GOING TO DO

The fourth smart trust action is do what you say you are going to do. Trust will fail if the person promising trust does not “walk the talk.” Delivering promised results builds trust faster than any other action. This smart trust action combined with action three (declare intent) packs a powerful one-two punch. These two actions have the greatest power to knock out suspicion and distrust. If something happens so it becomes impossible to do what was said, communicate that fact quickly. It helps to reframe expectations and can also engage others in either renegotiating or helping to find alternative solutions.

Doing what you say you are going to do is the ultimate brand creator. It defines a person’s own brand and it defines a company brand. In today’s business world, a strong brand is imperative. The authors cite studies that the trusted brand is the most popular, as well as the most profitable. In addition, trusted brands (Rolex, Sony, Mercedes, etc.) command higher prices in the marketplace. As a bonus, declaring intent and doing what you say are the fastest ways to build a reputation and trust. Among the stories used as illustrations of this action is that of Gordon Bethune, former CEO of Continental Airlines. By instituting a smart trust policy, and doing what he said he was going to do, Bethune turned a struggling airline into the most admired airline in the world.

ACTION 5: LEAD OUT IN EXTENDING TRUST TO OTHERS

The fifth and final smart trust action is lead out in extending trust to others. This is what leaders do–they go first, they are the initial ones to extend trust. If a person is not inspiring and extending trust, they are managing, or maybe administrating, but they are not leading. Extending trust produces results, increases trust, and elicits reciprocity. Extending trust can break negative cycles of distrust and suspicion. This leads to greater prosperity, energy, and joy for all stakeholders.

Covey and Link offer numerous stories as illustrations of extending trust, such as that of the Ritz-Carlton employee who was searching for a guest’s lost ring. He did not find it, so he searched the laundry. Still not finding it, he took a washing machine apart and there it was. The Ritz-Carlton had extended the trust to him to follow his own initiative, and this sort of trust pays off for the hotel chain. Research reveals that guests who are actively engaged with Ritz-Carlton and its staff spend 23 percent more money than those who are only moderately engaged. A four-point increase in employee engagement scores companywide means an extra $40 million in incremental revenue for Ritz-Carlton.

When leaders lead out in wisely extending smart trust, their actions have a ripple effect that cascades throughout the team, organization, community, or family and begins to transform the behavior of the entire culture.

Businesses can also extend smart trust to their customers. Connecticut-based Zane’s Cycles, one of the three largest bike shops in the United States, allows customers to go for test drives without asking for identification. “We choose to believe our customers,” says founder Chris Zane. The company loses only five bikes each year out of 5,000.

One area in which smart trust can be particularly useful is with mergers and acquisitions. Eighty-three percent of mergers fail to create value, while more than 50 percent actually destroy value, mainly because of the people and cultural differences. Smart trust is the “secret sauce” of a successful merger. It creates the trust necessary to integrate the two cultures.

SHARE STORIES

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Storytelling is an important aspect of being a front-line leader. It can be used to build emotional connections with others and inspire them. Stories Sharecan come from outside the organization, but it is best for them to come from within., as those stories create a sense of shared belonging and make employees feel part of the company. Stories grab people’s attention in ways that no other form of communication can. They highlight the human side of an organization, rather than simply focusing on facts and figures, and they remind people why they show up for work every day.

Stories also help leaders share who they are as individuals. Employees like to know more about for the people they work for. Leaders should not be the only ones encouraged to share stories. The culture of an organization should be such that anyone can tell a story and give his or her career more meaning. When people are encouraged to share stories and engage in this way, even otherwise dull tasks can be met with excitement and renewed interest.