Good Leaders Make Us Feel Safe
In a recent Ted talk, management theorist Simon Sinek shows how members of any type of organization prosper when leaders set a tone of trust and cooperation that lets people feel safe.
When leaders make the choice to put the safety of others in the organization first, remarkable things happen, says Sinek—citing as one example the story of a company that avoided layoffs after a financial setback by having each employee take a four-week unpaid furlough. Because everyone felt protected, employees immediately started trading—those who could afford to take more swapping time with those who could afford less. In the end, the company saved $20 million and retained every single worker.
When leaders find ways to make people feel valued and secure, the benefit they reap is that people genuinely want to follow them—rather than obey them out of fear. Every organization has heroes—and by making people feel trusted, respected and safe, you can be one.
We want to hear: Have you had a leader who made you feel safe, and what was your response? How do you make those you lead feel secure, and how do they respond? To join the conversation, click "comments" on our Community of Practice Forum.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion.
6/14/2016 11:09:31 am
I have not felt this way from any leaders. I have lots of examples of the bad only. I worked for a COO who was let go by the CEO 8 days after I started for "difference of opinion". After everyone just said yes to the CEO. I left there as soon as I could. Another time I worked under an interim Administrator in a facility that everyone really liked because of the hands on style he had, but when he left and a permanent Administrator came in the first thing that was said once the interim-Administrator stopped coming to meetings was ,"I am going to be looking at all senior leadership backgrounds to see who really deserves to be here and right now everyone is at a needs improvement or lower on their annual evaluations". This time I joined a supervisory organization with support in the event of termination until the Administrator was ousted for inability to perform. Now I know what not to do, but I would like some examples of how to make people feel safe and willing to take on some risk for the organization.
6/14/2016 06:15:54 pm
Thank you for this, Thomas. What a long series of challenging experiences you have had. Thank you for sharing them with our community. Hoping there are people who can suggest some examples of how to make people feel safe and willing to take on risk. Again, we appreciate your input.
6/16/2016 02:47:29 am
It's indeed an interesting topic. Leading based on trust is crucial for mutual respect to build. Adding the layer of safety or security can do wonders to open up the team'
6/18/2016 03:02:00 pm
So true Chitra. When people are spending their emotional energy, focus and time trying to figure out how to stay safe at work, there is nothing left for innovation and becoming thought partners with their team mates. Thanks for your contribution to our community!
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