Anrah News - April 2016
  • Leadership and trust
  • Mary Somerville - the public's choice
  • Anrah News
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"The glue that holds all relationships together - including the relationship between the leader and the led - is trust, and trust is based on integrity."
Brian Tracy 

According to a UN study, Denmark is consistently the happiest country in the world. And for the third year running, has been found to have the least corrupt government. Consequently, it is the most trustworthy.  

Danes have a high degree of trust. People are comfortable to leave their homes unlocked and bicycles unchained. They are confident in allowing the state to know a great deal about them. They are rewarded by having an extremely generous welfare system and open, consensual trustworthy government.

One of the most compelling reasons leaders are successful is because they trust and are trusted by their followers. This takes time. Trust has to be earned. It is not automatic. Indeed every transaction in business and finance is based on trust, on the making and retaining of promises. As various political and business scandals have illustrated, followers do not tolerate dishonesty and lack of faith.

Trust is key to whether and how much employees are engaged at work.Trust increases speed and efficiency in the workplace. Trust allows people to skip the "Forming, Norming and Storming" to get with the "Performing". Trusted leaders win better output, morale, retention, loyalty and revenue for their organisation.

One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is to assume that they are trusted by virtue of their title. As a leader you are trusted only to the degree that people believe in your ability, consistency, integrity and commitment to deliver. And it has serious consequences for your company. As Roger Staubach says, "If you don't trust inside your company, you can't transfer it to your customers." 

How to inspire trust? 
  • Say sorry: admit your mistakes. According to Brian Tracy, you win 8 times more loyalty from your customers when you admit mistakes and make good than if you had never made a mistake in the first place. This is true with your team too.
  • Be open: as far as is possible, trust your immediate reports. If you want them to stand by you, take them into your confidence. They will then understand why you take the decisions that you do.
  • Be discreet: when people confide in you, keep their confidence. When you are the keeper of people's secrets, you are privileged. You gain deeper connections and cement bonds. You also make better decisions because you understand underlying issues.
  • Live your values: be consistent with what's important to you. You set the culture within your team. 
  • Be true to yourself: a key to building trust is to be authentic even if it means showing your flaws.
  • Acting on their behalf: When you demonstrate that you have the best interest of the other person or the team at heart, then they believe you and believe in you.
Respect, integrity and honesty are the outcomes of trust that make for happy and successful teams. Contrary to the assumptions of many, strong relationships rather than competence are the foundations of these teams. And intrinsic to strong relationships is trust.
I was delighted to see that Mary Somerville, one of our greatest 19th century scientists was voted on Facebook to feature on the new Scottish £10 note.

Mary Somerville was daughter of an admiral in the British navy who had progressed through the ranks. Neither he nor his wife were believers in education for girls and Mary still didn't read by the age of 10. At 15 years Mary noticed some algebraic formulas used as decoration in a fashion magazine and on her own, began to study algebra to make sense of them. She surreptitiously obtained a copy of Euclid's Elements of Geometry despite her parents' opposition.

Under pressure from her family, she married her cousin and had two sons. After his death and that of one of her sons at the age of 27, Mary returned to Scotland with her other son and began to study astronomy and mathematics seriously. She solved maths problems posed in a mathematics magazine and in 1811 won a medal for the solution she submitted.

She married another cousin Dr William Somerville, a surgeon who supported her study, writing and contact with other scientists. They had 3 daughters and another son. They moved to London and travelled extensively in Europe. Mary Somerville began publishing papers on scientific subjects in 1826 using her own research and then began writing about the work of other scientists. These books were influential. Indeed, her work inspired John Couch Adams to search for the planet Neptune. 

Her translation and expansion of Pierre Laplace's "Celestial Mechanics" won her acclaim despite her anxieties over her lack of a university education. This book became a text book in university throughout the rest of century. Together with Caroline Herschel, Mary Somerville was named honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society, the first women to do so. In 1835 on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, she was awarded a civil list pension of £200 per year.

She moved to Italy where she continued to work and publish. Her husband died in 1860 and in 1869, Mary Somerville published yet another major work "Physical Geography" thanks to the encouragement of Sir John Herschel, was awarded a gold medal form the Royal Geographical Society and was elected to the American Philosophical Society.

Mary Somerville died in Naples just before turning 92 whilst in the middle of another mathematical article. By then, she helped establish science as a distinct area of study in Britain and was well known throughout Europe for her mathematical talents. She was so highly thought of that one of the first women's colleges in Oxford, Somerville College was named after her. She said,
" Science, regarded as the pursuit of truth, which can only be attained by patient and unprejudiced investigation, wherein nothing is to be attempted, nothing so minute as to be justly disregarded, must ever afford occupation of consummate interest, and subject of elevated meditation."

Anrah News
In collaboration with Priddey Marketing, we at Anrah are putting together a programme of transferable ‘soft-skills’ specifically for scientists . Su and I have identified that scientists need strong relationships to gain collaboration and advancement for their ideas and career. We are designing courses to be held on site to support project management skills,  leadership and presenting skills as well as sales and marketing and commercial awareness especially with scientists in mind.

We are speaking with societies which offer training grants as part of their membership – does yours? Let us know and we’ll approach them on your behalf.
2 girl engineer scientists and their Loki Lego Space Launcher
Do you want coaching and training on developing:
  • credibility
  • gravitas
  • influence
  • increased reach
  • stakeholder buy-in
  • leadership authority
Please email me or call 07939 261743 to discuss your objectives for yourself or your leadership team and how I could help you achieve them.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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