In this fascinating speech by Rose George, she gives some statistics and stories that connect all of us to the unkown world of shipping. The public’s unfamiliarty (which experts call “Sea Blindness”) with this vast world, many trust issues exist.
Explain the “why” when delegating projects. (2 of 9 in series)
Gen Y works best when leaders clearly explain how their work helps to expand the greater mission and purpose. They are the most educated generation in world history, so they’re conditioned to asking and understanding “why this” and “why that”. Influenced by their parents, who were impacted by the Hippie movement’s backlash against top-down dictation, Gen Y isn’t used to command and control styles of leadership. They are skeptical and used to being sold to. When their leaders dig into “why”, they buy-in passionately. They want to feel the value and importance for their actions. And, they want to understand how systems work so they can work efficiently and improve them. Dig to “why” with millennials, and you’ll gain more buy-in, improved systems, and better results.
Focus on Meaningfulness | Building Trust with Gen Y Series
By 2025, approximately 75% of the world’s workforce will consist of millennials (Gen Y), according to a study from the BPW Foundation. Companies that survive past 2025 will be those that develop the trust of the millennial workforce, while maintaining trust with previous generations. Companies that disregard the mind-frame and work-style of Gen Y will scare away top talent and consumer dollars.
In 9-blog series over the next few weeks, we will share 9 Gen Y trust-builders & insights into the milennial mind. Here’s the first one.
Redesign aspects of your organization in a way that focus on meaningfulness. (1 of 9 in series)
Millennials yearn for meaning. Without living through a draft or another major hardship, Gen Y desires more than stability and achievement. They want to work in organizations that are genuine to a meaningful mission. They don’t want to merely provide products and services. Rather, they want to use them as tools to help develop people and society. In addition to a meaningful mission, they want their organization to have a strong environmental, social, and corporate governance strategy (ESG), be known as a leader in corporate responsibility, and give back generously and purposefully to their communities. If your company doesn’t focus on meaningfulness and give freedom to create new avenues to make a difference, millennials will run the other direction – to your competitor companies. But, by paying attention to the value of meaningfulness, your company will develop trust and retain top young talent.
Growing up on a farm in north-central Minnesota, my family put a lot of trust in agricultural aircraft. We relied on a crop duster to spray fertilizer and pesticide and keep our kidney beans healthy and growing. Now, as a speaker and consultant, my company relies on the aviation industry to fly me back and forth across the country to keep our promises. Many weeks, I’m in an airplane every day, and it’s easy to take for granted all of the moving parts that make it happen.
Like any business activity or relationship, the aviation industry is built on trust. But, there are few industries where the value of trust is so taken for granted when things are going well and so magnified when danger is felt. We drive up to our local hub, as a plane shoots over our roof at 200 miles per hour, type our most important personal information into a machine, hand our bags over to someone we’ve never met, routinely pass our belongings through security where we hope all passengers potential weapons are confiscated, find the gate that was printed on our ticket, sit down on our flotation device, blast off into the sky in a metal cylinder, float through lightning storms, and hurl back at the ground. Our business travel or vacation trip sounds absurd when stated like this.
We take it all for granted when everything goes smoothly, thanks to the laws of physics and trust. But, the minute our stomachs rise and fall during turbulence, we remember how much trust we have in our pilots, the airplane’s safety designs, air traffic control’s technology to communicate from the ground, and a thousand other components. Perhaps the greatest proof is the 30% demand reduction after the 9/11 attacks. Consumers responded to the breach of trust with fear and decided to drive or stay home as alternatives to their next trip.
Any industry, business, or person will experience a shock period after a major breach of trust, but it was dramatic to aviation because of the magnitude of trust’s importance for success. The industry relies heavily on steadying their consumer’s emotions, and it goes great lengths to make that happen. Just think of one repercussion of 9/11 to understand – heightened security. Aviation had to respond to the breach of trust by increasing security personnel, procedures, and technology, and now more hassle is spread out to the entire industry, including us, as passengers. Air transit is the pinnacle of the industry, but it sits on an extensive foundation of moving parts and trust relationships. Many, like me, rely on them to run their businesses, and we all entrust the stability of our economy to them.
Steve Schussler Pays Attention to Detail | Trust in Marketing
Steve Schussler author and creator of Rain Forest Café, T-Rex and others at Disney is the ultimate example of staying fresh relevant and capable! At lunch this week I asked Steve how he creates such unique experiences. His first response, “Attention to detail”. Competency, consistency and commitment come together to create unmatched quality. From how he dresses to everything he creates, the little things make the big difference when you work the Steve Schussler! Is he trusted? Yes. From pro athletes to Disney to investors, Schussler is trusted with millions of dollars and more in brand equity.
Harvard Business Review: Countries Full of Mistrustful People are Less Entrepreneurial | Trust in Business
Trust is the foundation of effective and authentic leadership. Without trust, leaders lose teams through attrition, or dangerously low engagement. Among the many qualities of trusted leaders, clarity is key: People trust the clear and mistrust the ambiguous. So, leaders who earn employee trust provide transparency around goals, plans, and expectations.
Sadly, one widely-used leadership tool puts leaders at risk for destroying clarity and trust – the annual strategic planning session. If you ever want to put your team to sleep, just say these two words: strategic planning. While I agree that “without a plan, you plan to fail,” many employees have developed knee-jerk skepticism toward annual planning sessions. Why? Most have taken days at off-site retreats and hours of analysis without doing much differently afterward. Few strategic planning sessions provide clarity around the specific actions and changes required to achieve the intended goals. Without a clear plan, employees are confused and become ineffective – leading to fear, frustration, and a lack of focus. And with every ambiguous strategic plan, trust in leadership erodes. We can’t have faith in a leader who has fuzzy plans or unclear expectations.
How can leaders create a strategic planning framework that builds clarity? One way is to practice quicker planning more often – one hour every 90 days – with a bias for action. While long-term strategic planning can assist certain functions, the world is moving too fast for long-range plans to stay relevant.
Quick Planning: Four Questions
Instead of an annual planning session, try 90-Day Quick Planning (90DQP). It gives leaders and their teams an actionable framework that provides clarity for participants, and leads to tangible results. Simply pick one to three areas of your business you’d like to address, then ask and answer four questions. It should take less than one hour to complete the process, performed every 90 days. I’ve used this same process for my company, for my family, and for losing 50 pounds of weight.
Questions 1: Where are we? If you do not know where you are today, you can’t know where you would like to be in the future. Many leaders like to use SWOT analysis, which is fine – but only give yourself 20 minutes to complete it. Most teams can identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats quickly. For my weight loss, I could easily see that I was 50 pounds overweight.
Question 2: Where are we going? Ask, in 90 days, where would you like to be? Would you like to be back to your high school weight, like I did, or double sales, or reach 100 more customers? Write a clear, quantifiable (numerical) goal of where you want to be.
Question 3: Why are we going? If the why is strong enough, the plan does not need to be perfect. If a building is burning and my kids are in it, I don’t need to know every detail – I’m going in because my why is so strong. When your team has a motivating and unifying why, they’ll do the little things differently. They’ll stay passionate and focused, and they’ll finish. Recently, I was with journalist Larry King, when a friend of mine asked him, “What is your favorite question to ask?” He said that his favorite question is why because “the why” motivates people. He said he can conduct an entire interview by simply asking “Why did you do that?” Why did I want to lose the weight? I wanted to look and feel better. But I realized that I also wanted to have integrity. In my work, I talk about doing the little things that make a big difference. But when I looked in the mirror, I felt like I was not living out that principle in this area of my own life. With a more compelling why, I increased my commitment to my goal.
Question 4: How are we going to get there?Why may be Larry King’s favorite questions, but mine is how? – How are we going to get there?
I recently worked with a group of health care executives. After a day of training and consulting, they decided the issue they needed to address most urgently was clarity. Their brilliant minds discussed what they would do to be clearer. Their first answer was: “We will communicate more.” I wondered what exactly that meant. So I asked, how? They huddled and then responded, “We will hold each accountable.” I’ve heard that before and seen few results, so I asked them again, how? They huddled once again. Finally, they came up with something specific they would do every meeting to build clarity. Keep asking how until your team commits to taking specific actions. If people do not start doing something differently right now, the plan does not matter.
Asking myself how? – over and over – was the key to losing 50 pounds of weight. When it comes to slimming down, everyone knows what to do. Eat less and exercise more. But that wasn’t working for me. I had to ask how? until I could pinpoint something specific that I would do differently. I came up with 15 specific “how’s” that led to me losing 33 pounds in 90 days, and 50 pounds in six months. For example, a doctor told me that most men in America would lose 30 to 50 pounds in a year if they simply would stop drinking their calories (8 oz. of orange juice has 110 calories). So I achieved clarity on how to drink fewer calories by asking myself how until I devised a list of things not to drink – and what to drink instead. I knew that if I picked up a glass of water or Fresca, I could drink it. If the glass contained soda or orange juice, I wouldn’t. I was clear on the how, and so were the results of my efforts.
Instead of laborious strategic planning once a year, try this 90-day challenge. Every 90 days go through the Quick Planning process for three areas of your business. Instead of approaching it skeptically or wanting to fall asleep, your team will find focus, energy, and motivation. With greater clarity around your 90-day plan and vision, you will gain the trust of your team – and bottom-line results will follow.
Forbes: The Most Valuable Business Commodity: Trust | Trust in Business
We own our failures, we learn from them, and we share them publicly so that others can learn from our failings as well, which has helped us to bounce back higher than before when we fall. We don’t believe in treading water. Employees who remain in one place (physically and emotionally) will grow weary.