Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Developing trust

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One of the keys to running a successful operation is to develop trust with your coworkers and employees. Regardless of your position in the company, the best way to move forward – and work efficiently and successfully with your team – is to work, act and be a person they can trust.

Merriam-Webster defines trust as an “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone or something.” To work successfully as a team, the leader must create a culture where people can rely on the strength and abilities of those they work with and believe in their leader’s direction and vision.

How do you develop a culture of trust? The reference book Management Tips: Harvard Business Review shares the following advice:

Leadership should not be a solitary act. Leaders need to surround themselves with people who will challenge their ideas, point out their shortcoming, and tell it like it is. To be an effective manager, you need to ensure that honest opinions and information reach you. Get your people to bother you buy bothering them. Open-door policies are well intentioned, but you need to go further. Develop a culture of trust and openness. Show your people that you reward candor and that the more they bother you, the better.

What are you doing to develop trust? No matter your role, make sure you’re open with people and that you’re doing everything you can to develop trust.


The Product Management Perspective: To become a successful product manager you have to develop trust. The trust goes both ways: product managers need to carry out their tasks in such a way that the team members can trust them. And the PMs also need to trust that the team members will do what they have committed to do. Developing trust is key to developing successful products.

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