In my experience working as a product manager I have learned that gaining and keeping the trust of the teams you work with is vital not only to the success of the product but also to your personal success. Product managers (and leaders in general) gain the trust of their teams by rolling up their sleeves and going to work.
This past week I had a great experience working with my team to define the requirements for a new product. This experience was new for me because my new team uses agile software development and I’m new to agile as a product manager. (I recommend Eric Kuhnen’s post on using agile to develop Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications.) We took a significant amount of time to discuss requirements for the new product. We discussed the problems the software will solve and how to make it easy and intuitive for our customers to use. Through the process I gained increased trust in my new team members.
The process of working together naturally builds trust and confidence with the other individuals. Whether it’s working with a team on product definition, strategizing with key executives on company direction, or laboring with family and friends on a humanitarian project, working and spending time together builds trust. And in any leadership role, trust is vital. So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!
January 17, 2008 at 10:39 am
Michael, one of the greatest books I’ve ever read on the importance of trust in relationships and in life is called “The Speed of Trust” written by Stephen MR Covey, the longtime CEO of FranklinCovey and son of the more famous Stephen R Covey.
The main premise of “The Speed of Trust” is that when we have a very high degree of trust i those we have relationships with, both at home and at work, we receive a kind of “trust dividend” in our relaionship that helps us accomplish great things at a teriffic speed.
Conversely, when trust is low in our relationships, there is a kind of “trust tax” imposed that really slows everything down to a snail’s pace, because everyone feels a much greater need to take their time and check everything out and do exhaustive due dilligence and wait and see how things go.
Your post is absolutely right on. If we really want to make some light in the world, we have to establish for ourselves a reputation of trustworthiness. As we do, we ill increase the rate and pace of what we create, because the people around us trust us and want to help accelerate the good work we are doing.
January 17, 2008 at 12:35 pm
Thanks for pointing out this book. I love the language of “trust dividend” and “trust tax” because it explains it in language we can all understand. If we focus on how we interact with others — with this language in mind — we will communicate much more effectively, and increased trust will come as a result.
April 11, 2008 at 1:17 pm
There is no doubt that trust is the foundation of team success. Without trust, teams will lack candid communication. And without open and honest communication, how can teams thrive?
You are right on target.
Merrick Rosenberg | President & Chief Learning Officer
Team Builders Plus
1873 Route 70 East, Suite 302 | Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
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