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Thoughts From Our Director

Creating Trust

It is the time of year when many organizations are planning celebrations. Annual events recognizing employee service or business success or coming together to celebrate the holidays are one part of a good working environment. Creating space for the team to flourish is the responsibility of the leader. As a leader, it is our every day actions that are the building blocks of team success. If we fail in our day-to-day activities, no annual event will make a change. Sports teams are perfect examples of how this works. Championships are won when team members understand the goal and play at the top of their game. Leaders of strong successful teams know that each member must understand their role and its importance to the overall success of the team.

A lot of the time leading a team is similar to being a parent. Our team members look to us for guidance, just as children look to their parents to show them the way. Parenting expert, Amy McCready, says children need a feeling of “belonging and significance.” Employees need this too. Companies who recognize this need are more successful in the market place. SAS, a leader in business analytics software, has made the Fortune top 100 list for the past 13 years. Founder and CEO, Jim Goodnight, has created a culture based on “trust between our employees and the company” as well as a profitable company. Some might think that with all those perks, Goodnight was giving away the store. Not so. SAS is highly profitable and ranks as the world’s largest privately owned software company. Turnover is the industry’s lowest at 2%.

According to the Great Place to Work Institute “the difference at SAS is that what is ‘spoken’ with respect to people, quality and service is supported by behavior that reinforces every message. The words are not empty, they are full. And because the words are full, employees trust their leaders.” That message is proof that financial success can be found when company leaders treat people with respect and share information. The question leaders must ask each day is: what can I do to create trust within my team and thereby create a strong team? What is your answer?

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