You want to know why Marissa Mayer’s decision to ban telecommuting became such an uproar at Yahoo?
Here is a hint…
It isn’t because Marissa Mayer lacks the experience to make that decision. She doesn’t.
As CEO of Yahoo she is fully capable and competent to make that decision.
The reason that the decision was met with so much resistance was because she lacks the trust of her people.
Bold statement right?
Well, of course I am speculating to some degree. Her decision to change company policy so abruptly based on what most could call spotty data certainly didn’t help her case.
But put a leader at the helm in which the people trust, and they can make the same decision with minimal resistance.
Steve Jobs did this time and time again.
His ideas were often brilliant but his communication was often less than idea.
He ran Apple with what was sometimes referred to as an iron fist. If you read his book you almost got the feeling that he thrived in hostility and combativeness when dealing with his employees.
Yet things got done.
Simply put, he had trust.
Sure he was smart and he had vision. But so does Mayer. So do many other executives.
In the case of Jobs, he had the trust of his board, his stockholders, his employees and his community. They didn’t question his antics because they drove results.
For Mayer, the trust hasn’t yet been created. She is new to Yahoo, new to her board and the other stakeholders.
Whether or not she earns the trust of those key stakeholders will be seen in time as she creates a track record. And for her sake and all of the employees at Yahoo I hope she does.
In today’s workplace, experience is often the golden ticket. Especially when looking to fill leadership positions.
When HR sees a resume with the perfect experience; whether certifications, former employment or specific education, their eyes light up like they just won the lottery.
Now take the candidate and all of their perfect experience and put them in a room full of other employees and observe.
Do you think they can walk into the room and just take over?
Of course they can’t.
Anyone who has been assigned a new boss (leader), or perhaps been assigned a new team, would tell you that it isn’t anything like “Just take over.”
Have you ever seen a new leader inserted first hand who tried to come in like a bull in a china shop?
How did it work out?
Am I wrong in suggesting that it didn’t work?
Perhaps you have tried coming in and taking control of the troops. Most likely it was well intended; but how did it work out?
I would be amazed if you told me anything other than it failed.
Why would you suppose it failed?
Was it because you lacked the experience required to lead the team and get the job done?
I think we both know that probably wasn’t the issue. Most likely you were put into the position because you had the right mix of experience to earn the opportunity.
The real issue is that you lacked the trust and the coinciding confidence from your team that you needed to drive results.
Begging the question, where does trust come from?
Research would tell you that it comes from many different places. Some research would tell you trust is built over time, or that it comes from good listening. Other data may point to reliability, charm or charisma.
All of the aforementioned attributes would likely find their way to the top of list because all of them are indeed good ways to build trust.
In my experience, Trust comes from a plethora of places, but (and it is a big but) it is something that every leader must focus on if they are interested in driving results.
I would even suggest that the way to earn trust can vary from person to person and from relationship to relationship.
But no matter how you define trust and how it is built, there is one thing that I know for sure about trust…
Without it, your experience means nothing.
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