Leading at the Speed of Trust

One of the most advantageous aspects of my current role, is the ability to engage with a group of headteachers. I changed ‘team’ to ‘group’ as we do not have collective accountability, our successes are to a large extent mutually exclusive, however three times a year we come together at head office as a group to work together, exchange ideas and act as critical friends. In-between these formalised dates, we have further opportunities to collaborate, borrowing from one another’s talents, expertise, successes and lessons learnt though these are not mandated. From my perspective, this group, and these sessions, offer a valuable and comparative, professional learning opportunity.

 

First Headteachers forum of 2017

Day 1 Leading at the Speed of Trust™ was preceded with a 360 Trust Quotient (tQ) and an forward to the session.

 

Here is my first reflective point. Proprietary staff development often has scalability on it is side, if not cost. That said, organisational learning platforms are widely available and there really is no excuse not to; survey delegates needs and prior knowledge before the sessions, offering a think piece or stimulus and provide a discussion forum to propagate the conversation in advance of training. Whiting the appetite of the delegates and informing the session leads of their audience and more importantly, possible misconceptions to address.

 

The workshop developed a framework and a language of trust, primarily focused on personal leadership conduct (The Four Cores of Self-Trust: 1. Integrity, 2. Intent, 3. Capabilities, and 4. Results) and building relationship trust (13 structured conversations). There were plenty of business quotations from the great and the good,

The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust

 

Trust is like the air we breathe. When it’s present, no one really notices. When it’s absent, everyone notices. Warren Buffett

 

metaphorical explanations.

Water is the vital substances that sustains all life on this planet. When it’s there, everything grows. When it’s not there, everything withers and dies.

The same is true for trust. When there is no trust, relationship decay, projects fail, customers go to competitors, initiatives under-perform and work grinds to a halt.

 

and feel-good, over-layed and spliced videos.

 

We had a number of opportunity to interact, discuss and reflect in a bespoke, first class learning environment.

 

With Vivienne Porritt ringing in my ears, whilst I enjoyed the event, what was I planning to do with this professional investment? Here is my commitment:

 

I reviewed the tQ. I was reassured that the tQ report was very positive and scores closely matched. I was less interested in the score and more interested in the accuracy of my growing self-awareness.

 

Self Trust – Self 83 vs Score 87.

Relationship Trust – Self 85 vs Score 86.

 

From the report, I have prioritised three areas for professional awareness, drafted a response to my team, and shared that commitment with them in person. To be clear, these were already relative strengths, just not as pronounced.

 

Given today’s conversation and training on trust, I wanted to thank you for your feedback. Your feedback is both reassuring and your comments informative. I hope you know that I truly value your feedback. You have drawn my attention to three areas of my trust leadership that I aim to develop further with your support.

1.       Discusses and clarifying expectations more effectively
This was one of the few occasions where my self assessment was higher than the direct report, off-set by the positive perception of my external colleagues. Self 80 vs Score 75. The focus is to work more effectively with my direct reports.
Message to senior team: “My aim is to use our one-to-one meetings in the first instance to respond to and better understand your feedback, possibly to explore examples of where I might want to reflect. Moreover, I am committed to improving this area of my leadership with you as we work together.”
2.       Carefully making and keeping commitments
If I am honest, I was the area of was not aware of this shortfall. I pride myself on fulfilling my commitments. I need to explore this issue a little further. Maybe I do not make them carefully enough? Self 100 vs Score 78.
Message to senior team: “I am confident, with awareness of this feedback, I can improve upon my commitment to you. What I would appreciate your support on is, is it making the careful commitments or keeping them?”
3.       Showing greater courage and willingness to take a stand
In any organisation facing change, of have faced alot of a change, leaders have to make difficult decisions. There can be not doubt in my mind, your team must believe you will go into battle for them. Self 80 vs Score 78.
Message to senior team: “I have taken on your feedback. I hope to be able to represent your views wholeheartedly and meet your expectations.”
I would like to share the written feednack, however, I need to ask my colleagues permissions first. From my own perspective, I can see that I have taken strides to show more trust in others.

Not simply a good day out

Here are my actions – Writing up my reflections on the event the first – done, here they are.
Share the 13 behaviour cards with the senior team and wider resources – completed.
Schedule the tQ 6 month review – in the diary and scheduled.
Work with the Mindmarker app to keep trust in the day-to-day cross-hairs – doing this as the app prompts me to (three tasks completed).
Share “Trust is a Competency” article – email set to deliver Monday.
Read the book – maybe, I am a little over-dosed on trust right now.
Connect this learning to Complexity Theory – working on it.
This article in dedicated to Vivienne Porritt; encouraging me to hold myself to accountable.

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