316 | How to Build Trust Using Radical Transparency

Discover how to build trust using radical transparency. This is all about how you can create a loyal following of people and have continuous growth. When you know how to build trust, you become the kind of leader that people want to follow.

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 “How to Build Trust”

How to Build Trust

Three billionaires have embraced this rare strategy to create massive success for them and their business. It is all about how to build trust from within. Has that got your attention?

Those three billionaires are Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and a guy named Ray Dalio. You may not know Ray Dalio, but when I tell you a little bit more about what he’s done and this one particular strategy, you’ll see how it’s making a huge impact to increase trust and increase loyalty across their business.

Hi, my name’s Gene Hammett. I work with hyper-growth companies and those that want to understand rapid growth and the chaos that it creates, but also how to harness that to create a business that really means something in their marketplace. I love to talk to people about many different concepts of leadership. This one is about thoughtful disagreement. What is thoughtful disagreement?

Well, think about it. When you were working inside your meeting and you’re collaborating inside your company, do you guys completely agree with each other? Probably not. Are you harboring that and not really voicing your opinions? ‘Cause that’s a problem if you’re not really able to face that level of conflict and collaborate together to create a better solution.

Let’s go into this Elon Musk concept. Elon talks about how he really encourages the people that work for him to speak up. He wants to make the culture unsafe if people aren’t willing to speak up and have full transparency. Mark Zuckerberg has said that we’re going to share our secrets to everyone, even the interns within the company each week are able to come to meetings where they talk about corporate secrets and what’s going on inside the company. That’s transparency. Ray Dalio has written a book called “The Principles: Life and Work”, but many of them are all centered around this whole concept of Radical Transparency.

Now, again, this is a lot about the research I’ve done earlier this year with companies about their Radical Transparencies and about how that feeds into hyper-growth. It was almost 20 years ago, I worked in a start-up and I loved my job. I was very good at it. I loved the people I worked with. At some point in time, because the economic market was very difficult in 2000-2001, there becomes some dissension, some disloyalty, inside this group because there was a group of leaders who had the knowledge and they were filtering out what they needed to us. They were giving us little bits of truth. They were holding back everything else.

Looking back at this, I really wish that we were all shared, they trusted us enough to really have those conversations with us, even if it wasn’t comfortable, but they didn’t. That business ended up failing. It went from 150 people down to less than 15, but my point behind all this was, it did not create trust and loyalty. When you have and embrace a thoughtful disagreement or radical transparency inside your business, it really does allow you to have that kind of culture. If you’re interested about how to do that, let me just kind of lay out the three steps I see. So once you’re committed and you’re willing to let go of the kind of the old way, you want to do these three steps.

The first one is to really understand and have conversations with each individual person that this is affecting. And this may be across the entire company. The real question here comes from Ray Dalio is asking them can they handle the full truth. Can they handle that level of feedback? Asking them if they’re willing to give it to you. Do they have enough courage to give it back to you?

Ray tells a great story about how this happened inside his Tedex talk where he got a feedback from a meeting where an employee said, “You were really had poor performance there, “and you just weren’t prepared for this meeting.” Imagine talking to your boss like that at any point in time in your career? But you want that from your employees. You want them to be comfortable enough to give you that level of feedback. So it starts with having that one on one discussion.

The second one is to design the boundaries. A lot of people ask me, “Where do you draw the line “on Radical Transparency?” And here’s the key, most people that really embrace this draw the line at what’s legal to share. So salary data is not really legal to share because it’s owned by the employee and the company together. That’s not what they open up to everyone, but the corporate strategy they do. There’s many stories around this I could share with you, but I just want to keep this short.

The third step after you’ve found the boundaries is to be continuous and really create this as a practice inside the business because you don’t want to just let it sit there and hang. It’s not just something you do once, it is continuous. It is something you have to do in a continuous fashion.

Those are the three steps. Is to have conversations with the individual people that are involved inside the Radical Transparency. You want to set the boundaries so that everyone’s clear in what they are and how you do it. Then, you want to reinforce that consistently.

My name’s Gene Hammett. I help companies understand hyper-growth and help the really move forward with this. If you’re enjoying this, you can get more of it at hypergrowth.tips and as always, this is an episode of Leaders in the Trenches. If you are enjoying it, please let me know. Reach out to me on Twitter or my email address is [email protected] and that’s my piece today. This is all about you creating a legendary leadership inside your business, and I really hope you’ll take this and use it. Take care, see you next time.


How to Build Trust …

Trust is essential in growing your teams and even your business. When you know how to build trust with your team, you get them to buy-in to the mission of the company. You get them to go beyond just doing the work — you get the to want to do the work.


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