I have been blessed to work with a phenomenal community college president for 12 years – at two different community colleges. We were recently asked to provide thoughts about how we have built a relationship of trust.
Following are our thoughts.
What are 3 to 5 key elements that you feel are important for a successful relationship between the head of the college and the head of the foundation?
- Candor. Both colleagues have to be candid with one another – even when it “stings.”
- Competence. Both colleagues have to be competent, motivated, enjoy the work and work hard. It is difficult to build a successful professional relationship with a low-performer.
- Integrity. Both colleagues have to have a strong moral compass, know right from wrong and be willing to hold each other accountable.
- Listening. Both colleagues have to listen to one another and be open to new ideas. The egos must be left at the door.
- Trust. Both colleagues have to trust and value one another. They must “reside in Vegas” when necessary.
What are 3 to 5 of the possible pitfalls that can cause the relationship to fall apart?
- Betrayal. It is hard to rebuild these relationships if one person betrays another.
- Dishonesty and Two-Facedness. If either party is dishonest or two-faced – and the other finds out – that will be the end of the relationship.
- Egos. Confidence is admired. Egotism is not. If large egos rear their ugly heads, the relationship may be irreparably damaged.
- Impact from Personal Issues. Personal matters – and not having a good grasp on them – can cause things to fall apart professionally. Compartmentalization is key.
- Lack of Appreciation and Energy for the Mission. If neither of us cared for students, we would not be good for each other.
- Lack of Concern for Others. Each person needs to be attentive to the other’s personal and professional needs.
- Lack of Goals. The lack of a plan to include goals could cause the relationship to fall apart, since roles and responsibilities can get confused and become confusing.
- Work Performance Issues. Work performance issues will lead to these types of relationships unraveling.