Everybody Matters Podcast: “Leadership Freak” Dan Rockwell

It seems like almost daily there’s a story in the news illustrating the widening gap of trust in this country. We’ve lost trust in our national and local governments, the military, law enforcement, the court system, schools, banks, businesses, even our churches.

In essence, we’ve lost trust in the leaders of those organizations.

An environment devoid of trust fosters defensive, suspicious, insular and fearful behavior, which depletes organizational energy and destroys creativity. A lack of trust imposes a burden of higher monitoring and legal costs. It makes companies sluggish, unresponsive, and uncaring. It sows the seeds for the eventual destruction of the organization.

Building trust requires constant, authentic communication. Communication is not just about words; it is also based on actions. Every action communicates something to the people in an organization. Too many companies say one thing and do another, breeding deep cynicism among its people over time.

A few weeks ago I spoke to Dan Rockwell, the “Leadership Freak.” At one point, I said something we teach through Barry-Wehmiller University and the BW Leadership Institute (now Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute, read more here): To get trust, you have to freely give it. Leaders must start by trusting their people to use their own judgment and follow their own instincts rather than controlling them with too many directives and rules. High-trust businesses are built on respect and caring, not fear and anxiety.

The way Barry-Wehmiller teaches trust fascinated Dan. He even wrote a blog post about it. So we reached out to Dan and asked if he’d like to have a discussion about trust with Sara Hannah and Matt Whiat of the BW Leadership Institute.

We recorded that discussion for the Everybody Matters podcast. Hopefully it will help you view trust in a new way.

Is trust something you freely give or must those within your sphere of influence earn it?

The Everybody Matters podcast is available for free on iTunes where you can easily download it straight to your computer or mobile device. We encourage you to subscribe to the Everybody Matters podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you are an Android user, you can also download the podcast for free through Podcast Addict. If you don’t have access through iTunes or your phone, you can download the podcast here or listen straight from the player below:

Truly Human Leadership is found throughout Barry-Wehmiller Companies, where Bob Chapman is Chairman and CEO. A $3+ billion global capital equipment and engineering consulting firm, Barry-Wehmiller’s 12,000 team members are united around a common belief: we can use the power of business to build a better world. Chapman explores that idea in his Wall Street Journal best-selling book, Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring For Your People Like Family, available from Penguin Random House.

1 Comment

  • Kit Tennis says:

    I think this is the best of your podcasts, yet! Dan’s questions, and the team’s thoughtful and really instructive responses really bring the ideas of trust and people-centric leadership alive. I’d love to give this to every leader, everywhere.

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