“The glue that holds all relationships together - including the relationship between; the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity.” This wise statement from Brian Tracey embodies the synergistic relationship between leaders and followers that this paper will focus on. According to the course textbook, leadership can be defined as “the process of influencing an organized group toward accomplishing its goals.” (Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy, 2009, p.4) Although this statement is valid, it is my firm belief that it is a leader’s responsibility to do make a positive impact in a subordinate’s life. This paper will discuss why building trust is important in creating a team, how to build trust and finally analyze a personal course of action to implement upon entering the fleet.
Building trusting relationships is a crucial backbone in the body of a team. As stated earlier, it is the leader’s responsibility to do make a positive impact in a subordinate’s life. I have seen this impact first hand during my time as a Midshipman. LT Bill Burke, former Echo Company Advisor consistently went above and beyond the minimum requirements as an advisor. He was able to do this by implementing a legitimate open door policy. Unlike most CO’s open door policies, LT Burke made it a point to encourage people to come talk to him. One example of how he made a positive impact in a Midshipman’s life was convincing a MIDN to stay in ROTC after he got his girlfriend pregnant. LT Burke always went to bat for his people; consequently, they supported him in his endeavors. He was nominated and recieved the national Naval Professor of the year in 2009.
According to Stephen Covey, trust is the highest form of human motivation; it can bring out the very best in people. (Covey, 2004) This was clearly seen in LT Burke’s leadership style as he helped motivate me to be number one in everything that I do in life. In pursuit of such, I make sure to lead my life with a mindset of positivity – portrayed through no short cuts, no do-overs, and no room for excuses.
Building trust in a team is important for reasons other than just having a positive work environment. If trust is not instilled in a team, serious consequences such as death may occur. Military leadership differs from that of the civilian world because in the military, people’s lives are on the line. This is a sharp but brutal reality when compared to civilian leadership. The main motivation and concern for civilians is profit for their business. For the Navy, our business is protecting our freedom. Therefore, our most valuable asset to our business is our people, not turning a profit.
As a perspective Naval Aviator, building trust among subordinates is applicable to my life over the next several years. An example of how serious consequences can occur when trust is not instilled in a team can be seen through the aviation community. If a pilot were to fall into a managerial derailment rut, the team and the...