I have come across many mirrors in the past week. I read a very interesting book by Pekka Mattila that discussed “mirrors in leadership” and, right after that, during the Luottamusfoorumi event, Mikael Pentikäinen encouraged everyone to “pick up the mirror” if you face a trust issue. Open communication – with yourself as well – is the prerequisite for creating and maintaining trust. And if a leader or company loses its trust, can it be earned back? I believe it is possible, but it will require everyday actions and evidence, dialogue, collaboration and flexibility.
I have been facing the mirror quite often, lately. We managed to create a new company culture for SMT very quickly and successfully four years ago (http://www.tyoelama2020.fi/tyopaikoille/tarinoita_tyopaikoilta/smt_nopea_kulttuurimuutos_on_mahdollinen) when two fierce competitors joined forces and became SMT. The new culture was founded on trust in the future. Around this trust, we built our community that had a clear goal and we believed in what we were doing. I expected our efforts to easily carry us over to the next big changes as we had managed to build a strong atmosphere of trust. Now, I am looking in the mirror. Trust in the leader and company is put to the test in everyday work and during each interaction with other employees as well as with clients and partners. It is very true that trust has to be earned every single day.
We at SMT are facing new things. We are part of a global corporation, and the culture that we built is gradually blending into the larger organisation. How does this affect trust? Will I still be trusted as a leader? At times, I feel that the answer is yes but – if I am being completely honest – I equally often find myself in discussions where I sense a reduction in my trust capital. Old merits are not enough. Continuous development and renewal are necessary. Little things do matter, and it was inspiring to hear over lunch about how being a part of a global corporation meant many positive things for one of our employees, including new colleagues and engaging projects. I believe that these small insights grow and strengthen trust capital, and I would like to encourage everyone to come forward with their thoughts and ideas.
When the personnel trust the company and its future, this reflects strongly on customer interactions.
Let’s not avoid mirrors this summer. Trust and you will be trusted!
Wishing you a relaxing summer,
P.S. In addition to Pekka Mattila’s book “Peilejä johtamiseen”, here are my summer reading recommendations:
- “Järkytä avoimuudella” by Aki Ahlroth
- “The Bad Girl” by Mario Vargas Llosa
- “The Labyrinth of Spirits” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
- “Let me Lie” by Clare Macintosh
- “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay” by Elena Ferrante and
- “Bad Karma” by David Safier.