Much of my approach to leadership can be summed up in one word: Transfluence.
What’s that? Well, for the deeper explanation, you’ll need to read my book of the same name, scheduled to publish September 29, 2020. For now, check out this video and I’ll give you a quick summary of how transparency and influence merge to create transfluence in leadership.
In the weeks and months to come, you’ll learn more about transfluence through this blog, both in video and in written form. Your feedback and input on the topic is valued and appreciated.
Never miss a post about leadership, transparency, and trust by signing up for my weekly mailing list, delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.
Transparency, to me, is one of the keys to building trust. It’s so essential. It’s really easy to tell people the things that you want them to know. Man, it’s really difficult to tell them things that hurt you or things that perhaps you didn’t do well. And yet, if you want to build an environment of trust in an organization, you’ve got to tell the good with the bad and that’s what transparency’s all about.
By the way, people expect that, good and bad. The second day I took over at Prologis as CEO, our stock had been down 96 and a half percent over a 10 month period of time. Our investors were madder than hornets. Wall Street Journal ran an article about us potentially going bankrupt and we had some answering to do. So we hastily called a meeting with Wall Street and fortunately, found a ballroom big enough to hold about 400 investors.
We had another 700 that dialed in to listen and I was nervous. But we started off the call and the meeting by saying, “Look, here’s all the mistakes we’ve made. This is what we did. This is why it didn’t work out and we need to move on.”
And it was a transparent moment and we asked them not to trust us, but to watch us.
We said, “you know, trust is something that is earned and we haven’t earned your trust. Over time, we’re going to be the most transparent management team, the most open management team, that you can imagine and when you see that, reinvest in us, but don’t trust us, watch us. And at that point in time, invest in us.”
And I really believed that that transparency that we kicked it off with really provided the root to build trust with our investors and I think it’s not just your investors, it’s your board, it’s your employees, but that’s how you need to be transparent.
And if you do that, trust will follow.