Feb 21 2021| trust | Leadership

Creating a Culture of Trust - Tactics Part Four

Make it Feasible

by Phil Eyre Founder

Our series on trust continues with a discussion about feasibility.

 

Make it feasible

 

Feasibility is neither the absence of a vision or a greying of dreams. Having dreams and a vision are a part of what propels innovation, change and improvement, but they’re not the whole reason. 

 

To build trust and for people to follow, leaders need the ability to evaluate a situation and chart a path forward for teams towards dreams and a vision.

 

  • Trust-building feasibility is opportunity-focused.
  • Tactics to strengthen feasibility skills are orientated toward testing assumptions and identifying a path forward, not to risk-managing away all opportunity.

 

Here are some suggestions on how to achieve this:

 

  • Do the proper homework:
  1. Seek to test your beliefs with credible insights;
  2. Do the research, ask the questions, gather the facts;
  3. Check the facts, check the source of those facts;
  4. If you sense an inconsistency, dwell on it and don’t rush past it. Feelings and belief can be a good starting point for creativity but need to be supported with the proper groundwork.  Haste and bravado (bravado isn’t the same as courage, it’s recklessness) are the enemies of trust.

 

  • Evaluate progress when pursuing your objectives. Our susceptibility towards loss aversion can cause us to pursue an idea for longer than is objectively healthy.
  1. What are the guidelines that indicate whether you are on the right tracks or not?
  2. Pay attention to these and if you are under performing them, spend a decent amount of time understanding why rather than excusing or shrugging off the undershoot.
  3. Be willing to change your course if the evidence leads to that conclusion.

 

  • Invite perspectives from people who are out of sight yet who can carry a helpful and different perspective.There will be people within your company that can see precisely whether something will work well or not, yet they don’t hold an executive position and might therefore not be asked. 
  1. Create working groups within your company to consider specific issues and actively seek their feedback;
  2. Invite perspectives from external parties that are not immersed in your bubble and are independent in thought and agenda. If your non-executive directors are not doing this for you, find new NEDs.

 

  • Actively seek diversity in your decision-making bodies:
    • Appoint someone younger (or older) than you would usually look for;
    • Pay attention to the experiences reflected in your board or executive team; are these varied enough? and
    • Do they connect well with current and potential future customers and colleagues?

 

  • Ask open questions more frequently:
    • deliberately invite challenge to your beliefs and assertions. If you find yourself saying “surely it’s obvious”, use that as a catalyst to ask more questions; clearly, it’s not that obvious to everyone.

 

  • Constantly seek out improvement:
  1. Look for mistakes and near-misses first as ways to learn and improve, rather than to blame and punish; and
  2. Invite feedback in the hope of learning ways to improve, not just to affirm and applaud good decisions.

 

  • Make deliberate time to think. All of the leaders that we work with are smart people with the capacity to evaluate opportunities and risks. Yet many find themselves chasing immediate tasks and make little time to think ahead. This activity can be seductive in the short term, it can be rewarding solving problem after immediate problem. Yet without time to think, leaders can lurch from one issue to the next.

 

 

Final words of advice - thinking ahead is critical to the leader’s role – set aside time to think.

 

This week, schedule some thinking time, preferably somewhere other than your usual place of work.

 

About The Author | Phil Eyre

Phil is Leaders’ founder. He has an enthusiastic and inspiring style, drawing on his experience in business, academia and social sectors to help any leadership team to achieve phenomenal performance. Phil has significant expertise in sophisticated psychometrics and in the application of human data for individual, team and organisational success. He has trained with and been mentored by, global leaders in this field, notably Dr Chuck Coker in the US. Phil began his career in the UK offshore finance industry in 1994, working for a wealth management company, Canaccord Genuity Wealth International. Phil was head of the company's Guernsey division, with a staff of 120 and assets under management of £4.5billion before resigning from executive responsibilities in 2008. Since launching Leaders in 2017, Phil has worked with many senior executives and boards primarily in the Channel Islands and City of London. He regularly writes for a variety of business publications and is often invited to speak at events for institutions such as the IoD and the British Army. Phil works closely with clients on focussed projects and long-term retainers to raise leadership standards. He is a popular and inspiring educator and coach who, with the insights gained from psychometrics, is able to accurately detect the strengths and weaknesses in leadership teams and boards. Phil has served on the boards of various charities, ran the Guernsey hub of a national theology college, received accreditation as a pastor in the Baptist Union of Great Britain and is accredited in various motivation and behavioural techniques.

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