Can You Trust Your Boss?

Any basketball enthusiasts out there remember a fair player named Bimbo Coles? He played guard for five teams over a 12-year career, averaging 7.8 points per game with a career-high average of 12.8 PPG for the Miami Heat during the 1995-96 season. Coles hung up his sneakers following the 2003-04 campaign. Why do I bring him up? Because I recall a comment he made a few years ago after being waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“You can’t trust anyone in upper management,” said Coles. “If you’re in the room with them and you plan to walk out, you better face them backing out so you won’t get stabbed in the back.”

The bitter ramblings of a so-so player (after all, how seriously can you take someone named Bimbo?) well past his prime? Perhaps, but it raises an important point. If you are a manager, how forthcoming are you with your employees; and if you are a “worker bee,” how open do you believe management is at your company? It’s in vogue for managers to say they have an open door policy, but how many really go out of their way to ensure their underlings truly feel comfortable enough to take advantage of that?

I believe it is critical, especially in these unsure times of economic instability and possible layoffs looming around each bend, for there to be an environment of trust, open communication, understanding, compassion, teamwork and fun that permeates the workplace. Or at least every effort should be made to foster that and strive toward making it as much of a reality as possible. Doing so is vital to creating a positive atmosphere that maximizes fulfillment for employees and success for the business. It is a two-way street in that both management and employees need to put forth the effort to make it happen. However, it does all emanate from the top. The old saying a fish stinks from the head is apropos.

At the publishing company I work for, Bobit Business Media, ever since I can remember executive management has held quarterly meetings for the entire company in which it shares detailed financial information and business metrics with everyone. This goes a long way to demonstrating to employees how management thinks enough of them to share this confidential data with them and builds a relationship based on collaboration and trust. In addition to a free flow of information such as this it is important for company leaders to “check in” with the rank and file on a regular basis by visiting them at their desks, inviting them to their office for coffee, etc. These are the types of things that really keep everyone engaged and are of immeasurable benefit to company morale.

These are just some ideas to enable your company and its people to realize their full potential. I’d love to hear from of yours. Is this taking place at your business? Why or why not?

As always, thanks for reading.

Scott Goldfine



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