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Chapter Six: Trust in Leadership and Man... > Keep Interests Aligned amid Competin...

Keep Interests Aligned amid Competing and Conflicting Loyalties

One of the most important things a leader does is to get people to integrate their individual interests with the interests of the enterprise. How leaders define and communicate the collective interests, and reward those who promote them, will determine to a large extent whether trust and collective action are present.

During a conference call with the CEO of a $10 billion manufacturing firm, one of the CEO's direct reports complained that two of their business units were feuding with one another. The CEO replied, “Tell them to look at the name on their paychecks. It has the enterprise's name on it, not their business unit. That's where their primary loyalty should lie.” Leaders face a constant battle reminding their subordinates that it's not enough to optimize each business unit so that the company is nothing but a series of fiefdoms or silos. This particular CEO expended considerable effort creating a set of community-of-practice groups in the organization to enable dialogue and sharing across organization lines. He also began a quarterly business dev....


  

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