Strategies for building trust in the C-Suite

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Emma Combes and Dee Symons discuss the crucial role of trust within the C-suite and provide four actionable strategies for CEOs to cultivate an environment of trust among their top executives:

Foster Inclusive and Transparent Leadership

Rather than promoting competition and tension, CEOs should unite their team by sharing information with the entire C-suite. Transparency, including sharing both good and bad news, builds trust and encourages honesty and vulnerability.

Avoid ‘Control and Command’ Leadership

Traditional hierarchal leadership styles are outdated. Successful CEOs listen actively to their team, demonstrating empathy and self-awareness. By valuing their team’s input, CEOs can foster trust and collaboration.

Be Consistent

Trust is built through consistency, reliability, and predictability. CEOs should fulfill commitments and promises, even when mistakes are made. Establishing psychological safety and stability is crucial for building trust.

Hire Wide T-Shaped Leaders

Instead of focusing solely on functional expertise, CEOs should prioritize hiring executives with deep expertise (the T vertical bar) in one domain but also the ability to collaborate across disciplines (the T horizontal bar). These wide T-shaped leaders drive enterprise performance and foster collaboration, enabling trust to flourish.

By implementing these strategies, CEOs can create an environment of trust within their C-suite, leading to better collaboration, innovation, and overall organizational success.

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