Building Distrust in Leadership

Posted on April 28th, 2015 in Leadership Institute by Jan Bilgen

When we are in leadership positions we are constantly working with a team. Understanding team dynamics is imperative to working smoothly. This post will cover ways you can create distrust with the people you work with.

1 – Send A Detailed List Of Tasks Before A Project Begins.

Sending detailed lists of what to do signifies unwarranted distrust. The detailed list assumes someone will be error-prone even before they take the first step forward.

2 – Thank Someone Only For Insignificant Things Worked On.

Receiving this limited gratitude is like getting a ribbon for participation. No one wants to be thanked for just showing up and then ignored for the bigger achievements done. For the person delivering the small words of gratitude, they want to feel like they are saying “I trust you” yet they are really saying “You can do the small things well but not the big things.”

3 – Host A Brainstorming Session So Only Your Ideas Can Be Adopted.

A big meeting is scheduled to brainstorm new ideas on how to resolve a problem or undertake an initiative. The reality of the situation is the one calling the “brainstorming” session is just calling a session to validate their ideas. No real brainstorming actually occurs. These sessions are just tense re-hashing of old ideas, ones that certain leaders may be more comfortable.

4 – Change the Team’s Direction When the Manager is out of the Office.

The ultimate distrust is when another manager changes a team’s direction or introduces a new approach when the team’s manager is out of the office. Distrust is abound, along with undercutting the credibility of the manager. Sucking the credibility out of another leader is worse than firing them.

5 – Talk Endlessly At Someone.

Conversations are two-way. For some though, conversations are an opportunity to lecture. These “talks” happen under the guise of a conversation but they are really just lecture time. Distrust is built in one-way lectures promoted as a conversation.

With reading this post I hope you do not try anything of these things, and if you do participate in these actions, try not to.


The Leadership Challenge

Posted on April 1st, 2015 in Leadership Institute by Jan Bilgen

This weeks post is from Ariel Powers-Schaub. She supervises Arey, Benson, And Lee halls this year. She is a UWW alum and this is her fourth year here.

My favorite book about leadership I’ve ever read is The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner. I read this book in my Master of Ed program here at UWW. I was so excited while I was reading it because it finally felt like something I could use day-to-day! It didn’t feel like just another lofty book about leadership, and it didn’t leave me feeling like, “what is leadership, anyway?” It felt like a simple guide to leading others!  What Kouzes and Posner (and I’m sure their research assistants) did was survey all different kinds people all over the world about what they saw in strong leaders, and they come down to these five necessary things leaders do. In short:

1.       Model the way

Find your voice and affirm shared values.

2.       Inspire a Shared Vision

Envision the future and enlist others in that common vision.

3.       Challenge the Process

Take risks and learn from mistakes.

4.       Enable Others to Act

Foster collaboration and strengthen others.

5.       Encourage the Heart

Recognize contributions and celebrate victories!

If you want to learn more about their awesome study and finding – and seriously get some good ideas about exactly how to lead – check out their book for the library, or check out their website just for student leaders:


Trust & Leadership

Posted on March 17th, 2015 in Leadership Institute by Jan Bilgen

Developing trust with your coworkers is an integral part in order to have a productive work environment.  I know that it is hard for me to trust people at times, but it needs to happen so I can develop successful relationships. We all know that at the base of any relationship trust is required.  If we do not develop a sense of trust, a leader will most likely not have a good relationship with others.

Here are some ways to gain trust with your peers:

  • Do What You Say You Will Do – This the ultimate way to gain their trust. It means following through with what say you will do.
  • Trust & Nurture Them To Develop – To gain trust we need to trust others. It is a two-way street. We need to be patient and give them the time to grow and develop instead of forcing the issue.
  • Do The Right Thing – Regardless of whether or not anyone is watching you, integrity cannot be compromised. It takes many years to establish your credibility, but it only takes a few minutes to ruin it.
  • Care For Your People – Before we ask our people to do something for us, we must appeal to them and touch their heart.
  • Serve Your People – When we serve our people, we ensure that their interest is taken into consideration. By doing so, we don’t focus on who gets the credit. Our focus shifts to getting the job done.

Developing trust is vital to any relationship.  I know for some it might take quite some time for trust to develop, since it can easily be broken, but when it develops it will be worth it!


Leadership Institute

Posted on March 14th, 2013 in Leadership Institute by Jan Bilgen

Please see the file below regarding the exciting beginnings of UW-Whitewater’s Leadership Institute concept!

Please post what you think and keep an eye out for our survey!
Leadership Institute Report