Saturday, November 09, 2013

As a manager, the default is trust

As a manager or CEO, what is your reaction when someone proposes a plan of action?

Most of us feel like we need to "improve" such proposals. It's hard to say why. Perhaps that helps us "look smarter." Perhaps we feel like we want to help. Or maybe we're worried that if we don't offer changes, it will seem like we don't care.

Stop it.

As a manager, the default is approval, not nitpicking. This doesn't mean to swallow legitimate feedback. If you think the plan is crazy, say so. But you better have a good reason.

When you tinker, you're not saying, "Management adds value." You're saying, "I don't trust you. In fact, I trust you so little that I'm going to slow you down and make more work for everyone."

Trust is shown with actions, not words. Make trust the default and you'll build better relationships and make your startup move faster.

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