Posted on Jul 8 , 2017

The Importance of Being Ernest

“The only antidote for this treacherous poison is the truth.” - Beaver

Chapter 13, Leadership in Wonderland.

Throughout Alice’s journey she is confronted with obstacles, which often threaten both the company and her position. At the core of many of them is a lack of trust, which creates the opportunity for Hatter to poison the employees with Alice Amnesia tea, causing her employees to forget her. In turn, it is her own efforts to build trust that provides the antidote

During the course of my career, I have worked with all types of leaders. Many were good-hearted people who ended up creating an environment lacking in trust simply because they didn’t want to burden their employees with any news that wasn’t positive. Others modeled bad behavior by mistrusting their staff members without cause. A third group under mined trust by continually focusing on the wrong message; emphasizing money rather than quality or customer care.

As for Alice, she has done an superb job at breeding mistrust by being absent from the business for a protracted period of time, thus sending a message that she doesn’t care about her employees or Leaves-of-Wonderland. However, once she begins to re-engage, she sees the error of her ways, and sets out to rectify the situation. Like most of us, she is faced with some tough lessons along her leadership odyssey:

  1. If you don’t actively demonstrate that you care about employees, they won’t care about you or your busine
  2. Effective communication is the foundation for high levels of trust.
  3. A lack of information creates an opportunity for gossip to spread.
  4. Trust, and conversely, a lack thereof, are typically reciprocated.

During the next few weeks, we will be exploring each of these five points in greater detail. We’d also love to hear additional trust lessons you’ve learned on your own journey.