From “Soulless Opening Year Academic Speeches” to “Calling it Quits” to “Why 2022 is the Year of Workplace Culture,” US employees are yearning for inspiring leadership that fosters vibrant cultures at work. How to get there seems elusive, and so we spend time and money on surveys, 3rd party vendors, and expensive consultants to help us through.
A large body of research is clear, though, that trust is the key to unlocking a healthy work environment: one that celebrates growth, coaches mistakes, and never resorts to fear, shame, or retaliation. This is not some made-up fantasy: I have lived and led in environments like this, and you can too. In this episode I share my favorite strategies, proven over more than 10 years of experimentation, for infusing your leadership and your team with deep and rewarding trust.
Here’s the episode at a glance:
>>0:43. Welcome new listeners! I’m so humbled and excited by the growth in the audience. Welcome to all new listeners, whether you are a leader who identifies as a woman, or whether you’re someone who supports the women leaders in your life. I see you and welcome you!
>>03:29. 2022 is the year of work culture. This is true across the country in all sectors, and also true in higher ed. Let’s look at data from Glassdoor as well as anecdotes shared on Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. No matter where you look, it appears that campus culture is in need of some TLC.
>>06:30. On college campuses, top leaders — particularly presidents and provosts — bear the brunt of blame for low morale. The situation at Mizzou is telling and not anomalous.
>>08:17. Too many presidents play it safe. We see this in “Soulless Opening Year Academic Speeches” but also in rote, predictable strategic plans. Some presidents have the courage to be different. Shout out to Brian Rosenberg, Freeman Hrabowski, and Carmen Twillie Ambar in particular.
>>12:00. Given all these cultural problems and the ways we yearn for inspiring leaders, what can we do? We can BUILD TRUST. But how?
>>18:04. Get Curious.
>>19:40. Be Generous With Your Feedback.
>>21:52. Correct Your Mistakes.
>>23:46. Build Your Team’s Strengths.
>>25:44. Three common threads running through these four strategies.
>>28:37. Hey! I’m looking ahead to November’s election season. What questions are on your mind as you think about democracy, dissent, academic freedom, and voting on your college campus?
Extra reading & resources — no affiliate marketing, just information-sharing.
Glassdoor Workplace Trends for 2022. @Glassdoor. Published December 8, 2021. Accessed 9/10/2022. https://www.glassdoor.com/research/2022-workplace-trends/
Why 2022 is the Year of Workplace Culture. @Harvard Business Review, published 12/29/202. Accessed 9/10/2022. https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinecastrillon/2021/12/29/why-2022-is-the-year-of-workplace-culture/?sh=27b47c271bbb
Calling It Quits. @IHE, published 7/5/22, accessed 9/10/2022. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2022/07/05/professors-are-leaving-academe-during-great-resignation
Morale Low at Mizzou; Many Blame Chancellor. @IHE, published 9/6/2022, accessed 9/10/2022. https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2022/09/06/morale-low-mizzou-many-blame-chancellor
University of Missouri Faculty Survey Scorches Mun Choi for Poor Morale on Columbia Campus. Published 9/1/2022. Accessed 9/10/2022. https://missouriindependent.com/2022/09/01/university-of-missouri-faculty-survey-scorches-mun-choi-for-poor-morale-on-columbia-campus/
Soulless Academic Year Opening Speeches. https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/just-explain-it-me/soulless-academic-year-opening-speeches
Thrive. The Strategic Plan from Macalester College, 2015. https://www.macalester.edu/president/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/StrategicPlanningReportFinal.pdf
Higgerson @Wiley: https://www.wiley.com/en-us/search?pq=mary+lou+higgerson%7Crelevance
The Speed of Trust, by Stephen M. R. Covey. https://www.speedoftrust.com/#the-book
How to Protect Your Team from a Toxic Work Culture. @Harvard Business Review. Published 6/23/2022. Accessed 9/10/2022. https://hbr.org/2022/06/how-to-protect-your-team-from-a-toxic-work-culture
Thirteen behaviors of a high-trust leader. https://www.unthsc.edu/values/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/13-Behaviors-of-a-High-Trust-Leader.pdf
Campuses are Going Back to Normal. This Group Has One Message: Stop. @CHE, published 9/2/2022. Accessed 9/10/2022. https://www.chronicle.com/article/campuses-are-going-back-to-normal-this-group-has-one-message-stop
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