#trust #it-management #leadership-skills

Establishing trust as a new CTO

Nobody likes change. Nobody likes authority. And even less people like when they are wrong. It is not easy to establish a healthy working environment anywhere, yet alone in IT, where being a sceptic is nowadays almost a matter of fashion (just scroll through all the IT memes). As a new CTO one can quickly find himself in a situation where his ideas and requests are hitting the wall. Developers are those who will actually build the product you are going after, so establishing a trust within that circle is an absolute must if you want to get anywhere. But as already mentioned, they also don't you! You as a new CTO are unknown variable to them, same as they are to you. Who are you to think that they should trust you unconditionally just because your authority exceeds theirs? A solution for this is not a simple one. It is precisely because there is no universal formula for it and because no two teams are the same. The three thing you must be at all times is 1. Calm 2. Flexible, and 3. Patient Even though you know that a certain action will result in a wrong outcome, it is probably not the best way to warn your team about that in your first week (unless we are talking about hacking the government). Try to be wise and patient, and let people make a mistake. Calmly mention that that certain set of action will not lead to the preferable outcome beforehand, and when your predictions come true, be gentle. You be the one who will control the whole process, although it will not seem that way in the outside world. Learning by mistake is by far the best way to learn, and being able to control such process will establish a lot of respect and trust within your team. If people go further, and would not admit their mistakes even after they are quite obvious, you will know what to do.
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