The following quote is from an article on Media Post. The quote appears early, in a section on education. As in, education is one of the three areas an executive needs to focus on to become successful on social media (the others being integration and ROI).
“Trust: Teach executives to trust their teams and let them run with the responsibility. Allow them to experiment, share in the successes and failures and learn together. Encourage them to rely on the teams they have assembled and let them do what they do best.”
Reminds me of the old Steve Martin joke about how to become a millionaire and not pay any taxes: “Step 1, get a million dollars, step 2…”
“Teach executives to trust their teams.” That’s brilliant. By which I mean, that’s brilliant in the same way feeding a shark is “brilliant.” It sets up all the wrong sort of ideas about how things work and what results to expect. “I don’t understand… I did everything I learned in class about building trust, how come I got bit in the ass?!”
Maybe, while we’re teaching ourselves how to trust, we can take some classes on courage, ethics, empathy, and swimming, too. Wow.
This kind of stuff really burns me up. It’s not helpful. It misses the fundamental point, which is this:
Until you decide to trust yourself, you’ll never fully be able to trust anyone else, no matter how much anyone “teaches” you.
As Great Place to Work consultant Nate Butki puts it: success “doesn’t require an invitation – be the change you want to see!” I heard Nate speak yesterday. Very impressive. He knows what’s up. Heed his words and stop looking for permission. Stop thinking that some classroom teacher has the answer you need. Stop looking around to see what everyone else is doing.
Want to succeed? Want to be a leader? Make a decision for yourself. Stand alone. Start doing your thing before anyone grants you permission. Do the thing that no one else has had the courage to yet do.
And while we’re at it, listen up, blogosphere: little less BS about “teach[ing] executives to trust their teams,” and a little more reality from here on out. Please. And thank you.
Jason Seiden is CEO of Ajax Workforce Marketing. Ajax amplifies brands by aligning employees' online messaging.