'If people trust you, they will follow you, even just out of curiosity'

Hi there, Russell Stratton, President and Leadership Champion with Bluegem Learning. I work with organizations just like yours to help managers improve staff engagement and increase individual and team performance.

Now what I was talking about in the previous Vlog, the importance of team and getting our team being cohesive so we can deliver objectives and deliver value to our customers. As always being a primary importance to me in the work that I've done as an operational manager, but also now working as a consultant with organizations helping other managers by using our value cards,we were looking at three of the elements that to me where values that were most important around ‘Team’.

Now last time I talked about ‘Transparency’ this time, I’d like us to move on to talk about the element of ‘Trust’ and why trust was important. What I saw is that ‘Trust’ was key and in building trust with our employees in a number of ways. One of the first things I found was about being open with people, being as honest as I could be with them about what the situation was, what was going on for our team, for our organization.

And secondly, being prepared to have that straight conversation with them,

which I'll come onto in our 3rd Vlog about being having ‘Candid Dialogue’, telling people straight how things were.

Thirdly, the other part was about making sure that I took time to understand people as individuals. That I take time to find out who they were as a person, what was important to them. And that's the whole purpose around the idea of our exercise with values, getting people to exchange stories about why these values are important to them, because I found if I could understand who my people were, what motivated them, what made them them, if I could understand and be prepared to be open

and honest with them about what was going on, be able to have a candid dialogue with them and also be able to demonstrate that I knew what I was doing as their team leader that that would help build trust between me as the team leader and them as the team and I was setting some example and role modelling, that enabled them to build trust with each other.

In my work in more recent years,I've always been a big advocate, a fan of Colin Powell as a former Secretary of State in the US and head of the US Armed Forces. In one of his 18 Tenants or Lessons in Leadership, he talks about, one of these is about ‘Trust’,

when asked about what was the most important thing he felt as a leader and it was about having people having trust in you and he tells a wonderful story about being at the Infantry training school in Fort Benning, Georgia, when he was training to be a First Lieutenant.

He was told by the Drill Sergeant there that one of the most important things was to have people to be able to trust him, if his team did not trust him, then he wasn't going to get much done. And this idea that he would have to be showing that he knew

what he was doing, that they realized that while he had a job to do, he wasn't going to put them in harm's way unnecessarily. He had their interest at heart. He said that one of the things he found was that if you could build trust with people as his Sergeant had told him at Fort Benning then 'people will follow you even just out of curiosity'. I always love that thought that people would follow you just out of curiosity,

because they trust you and they believe that you're going to take them somewhere, physically or metaphorically, that's going to be interesting and they believe that you have their interests at heart.

So that's my thoughts are about ‘Trust’ and why I feel like that's important and some of the things that I've done to try and build trust with my team's. If that sounds interesting to you, you like the idea of exchanging stories around the values

and what's important to you and others then why not join my colleague Ken and I for our upcoming lunch-and-learnwhen we look at the Value shift deck and how we can use this to motivate our teams.

The Lunch and Learn, live online, taking place on July 15th, 12:30 p.m. To book tickets, click on the link below and at the great price of only $19, why not invite a co-worker or even your boss to come with you.

So click on the link below and we'll see you on the other side.

Book Here- 'What the F&%$ is Wrong With Them? Motivating your employees through values'

Well that's it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the blog and I'll be back next week with more, until then ... be a leader not just a boss!

#leadership #motivation #values #performancemanagement

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"Bluegem Learning & Development and Corporate Culture Shift have presented two very effective and interactive workshops with our organization. Their comedic and engaging presentation style in the ‘Managing the Unmanageable’ workshop has left a lasting impression on our staff. I highly recommend this workshop if you are looking for a valuable, cost effective customer service training option."

- Jeff Gerestein, City of Brooks

"Russell produced a highly engaging HR programme that reflected our organisational issues. He is without doubt an outstanding training deliverer, challenging managers to address what can be difficult HR issues. I highly recommend Russell, and would always seek to engage Russell on future learning development opportunities."

- Sharon Gartland, DSG Consultancy Services

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Russell Stratton

Leadership Champion

RUSSELL STRATTON is an international Leadership Expert, Professionally Certified Trainer and Coach, with a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management. He is co-author of the book 'I Need to F@#king Talk To You - The Art Of Navigating Difficult Workplace Conversations'.


He is a Master Facilitator for Bluegem Learning's ground breaking "Leadership Success" workshop series - providing a practical toolkit for building engagement and improving individual and team performance. Using live actors in a stop/start forum theatre approach and a combination of dynamic experiential learning techniques, participants come away with a greater ability to actually perform better as employees and leaders in your organization.


He is an accomplished management education, learning & development professional with a proven track record of working with clients in the public, voluntary and private sectors to achieve lasting, measurable step changes in business performance.


Russell works internationally with a wide range of organizational cultures and with all levels from front line customer facing staff to executive management boards. Having worked as both a Personnel Manager and Operational Manager he works at both strategic and tactical levels.

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