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Training Unleashed Podcast Wrap-up . . . Insights from John Saunders on Creating Trust in the Workplace

John Saunders

On January 26, Training Unleashed was pleased to present a Podcast with author and leadership expert John Saunders, founder of Forward Advisory Solutions. In a conversation with Evan Hackel, host of Training Unleashed, John discussed a topic that is a perennial concern for all leaders . . .

How to create trust in the workplace

About John Saunders

John Saunders spent many years as a Wall Street Senior Vice President, sales team leader, and award-winning sales executive. He followed his passion for helping others grow and founded a coaching and consulting company, Forward Advisory Solutions. He holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from Georgetown University. Additionally, John is a member of Georgetown McDonough’s MBA Alumni Advisory Council, an active angel investor and is a formal Executive MBA mentor. John’s many books include The Optimizer: Building and Leading a Team of Serial Innovators (New Degree Press, 2020).

We know you will want to hear John’s insights on creating trust at work. Here are some highlights from the Training Unleashed Podcast . . .

Evan: How do you actually create that culture of trust? Because people are scared of change, in particular, change for the good. There doesn’t matter what the change is, people get nervous around change. So how do you create that change? That trust?

John: There’s an entire chapter in my book that is dedicated to that question. I’ll try to boil it down here. But I’ll first back up and say one of my favorite stories I wrote in the book was about Henry Burton, who was jailed in 1636 for being deemed an innovator by the King of England. I was very happy to find that story because sometimes we often think we have this sort of recency bias like this is happening today, and it’s very different.

I dug very deeply to find this happened four hundred years ago. A guy was jailed for creating change. And I thought that was fascinating. So it really helped.

I was trying to set the tone of like, this is not a recent phenomenon, but when you think about building trust, there are a number of levels to it. And certainly first is creating a personal connection. The thing I can’t stress here enough is that building trust is not a one-time event. People send a note to their team member that says, “Hey, hope you had a great weekend” or, “Wasn’t that fun?”

That’s one touch, right? This has to become part of your process. But I think the mindset shift for me that really helped was that I started to think about my team members as my clients, as opposed to my workers.

If I say, “Do this,” they’re going to do it, because I’m their boss. But thinking about them as my clients changed everything. How do I think about a client that I want to retain and grow?

A good client is built, based on a good trusting relationship. I think that same design can be worked with your team. It’s having those personal touches. It’s getting their feedback. I mean, how many times in your career has someone come to you and said, “You’ve been on my team for a number of years. What’s it like working with me? How could I improve this circumstance?”

How often does that happen?

About John’s New Book . . .

The Optimizer is a book about building and leading a team of serial innovators. It’s about developing systems and processes that help your team unleash their gifts.

“Why did I write this book? And I think that’s one of my favorite stories to tell, which is I spent over two decades working on Wall Street as a sales executive and a sales leader . . . almost 24 years. And over that time, I found that so many people are extraordinarily gifted, but for one reason or another, they never find a way to unleash those gifts.

“And what I found over time, through my leadership work, through going to business school, through researching the book, through interviewing dozens of people, was that what keeps people from unleashing their gifts is oftentimes fear, emotional hurdles, fear of loss, and uncertainty, and shame.

“So if you don’t create a safe environment, it’s never going to happen. So what my book is really about is trying to help people understand a system, a process to unleash gifts and deliver results, through trust.”

Hear the Whole Podcast!

We know you will want to hear the whole conversation between John Saunders and Even Hackel. CLICK HERE and get ready to sit back and learn more about creating trust in your workplace.

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