What Corporate Leaders Could Do to EARN the Trust of their Employees

Today's Quote

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
John C. Maxwell

I first came across Simon Sinek's work about six years ago. I was looking for a video to kick off a training class for a week-long new hire program I had written. I came across this clear voice speaking words of truth. More than that he spoke them from the heart. I knew immediately I'd come across a motivational and business sage.

That video was his Tedx Talk Start With Your Why.

Last year Mr. Sinek released a new book titled Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't. I've had a long corporate career. Because of my role in the training organization of a Fortune 100 company, I've seen leaders close up. Some get this principle and others, it's clear, have never even considered such a concept.

That may be expected at the managerial or lower executive levels. They just slightly bigger fish trying to make it. However, C-level executives at large companies are no more likely to get the concept of putting people ahead of the bottom line than their underlings. And why should they?

Many of them went to fancy business schools that preached the dogma of the bottom line. People, in that system, are only a means to an end. When people impede that end, they're taught to cut the people. Never mind what does to people or communities, the bottom line paramount. Yet, it's muted through words of work-life balance and "our employees are our most important resource."

What's the old saying? Actions speak louder than words. Employees today see right through a leader who talks that game, but whose actions don't match. Those are not leaders or companies that inspire loyalty, dedication, or draw the best out of people.

If corporate executives didn't get the message in business school, their quarterly meetings with Wall Street will drive it home. Investors trump employees every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Never mind, that there is no value to create strong ROI or multi-million dollar salaries without the sweat tears of the employees. Many "leaders" see employees as the first man overboard when times get tough.

Sinek calls them out in this fantastic video. Heart count not head count. What a concept!

I don't believe corporate leaders come to these actions because they're evil. I believe they do it because they've had their humanity trained and drained out of them by a system more interested in quarterly profits than human well-being.

I'm glad there are leaders like Sinek and the executives he discusses in this presentation who buck the trend and find better solutions that move their people above the bottom line. Such leaders earn the trust of their people and we need more of them.

Ray Davis
for The Affirmation Spot

Ray Davis is the Founder of The Affirmation Spot and co-founder of 6 Sense Media. He’s been writing, recording, and using affirmations for 30 years. He's also the author of Anunnaki Awakening. He advocates for the potential of the human race. He's life-long history buff and holds a B.S. in History Education.