Trust is one of the key conditions for the participants of the global market to cooperate. No matter what an organization’s mission and vision are, the only possible way for it to be profitable is to create a hierarchy, in which its members could trust each other and be loyal to their co-workers. In his lecture, Simon Sinek shows the advantages of pushing the concept of trust between a company leader and an employee to the extreme degree.
By drawing parallels between the global market and a battlefield, Sinek claims that the trust and compassion, which he believes to be the building blocks of a strong and efficient organization: “We call them leaders, because they take the risk before everybody else does” (Sinek, n. d., 00:11.08). Sinek claims that it is only by developing the relationships, which are based on respect and trust that an organization may succeed and that the proper principles of organizational behavior can be established. In other words, Sinek considers responsibility, both professional and personal ones, the key feature of a true leader.
There is no need to stress that the ideas suggested by Simon Sinek, though doubtlessly interesting and thought provoking, have a number of problems. First and most obvious, the very concept of devotion and trust, which he describes, is pretty much idealistic and can hardly emerge in everyday environment. More to the point, the air of competitiveness, which the entire concept of business and corporate development is shot through, is most likely to make a solid obstacle on the way of planting the ideas of trust and compassion into employees.
In other words, the environment, in which the ideas of compassion and collaboration valued by the narrator so high can be established, is barely impossible to create in the realm of the 21st century market relationships. Therefore, I disagree with the statement that planting the relationships based on mutual trust and compassion is possible in the environment of a global market. More to the point, I will even go further by claiming that such a drastic change of corporate relationships is unnecessary.
The principles that most of the advanced companies are run by nowadays are perfectly fine; with a focus on the key stakeholders and their interests, an organization is likely to shape its mission and vision so that the relationships between the company leader and the staff could involve mutual trust and respect. An employee working for an average modern company hardly needs any stronger link with the company; after all, it is necessary to bear in mind that business relationships are based primarily on receiving a financial benefit rather than on forming a strong personal connection with the leader of the organization.
In other words, in the realm of the 21st century market, it is crucial that business relationships should not be mixed with friendship and trust. While the latter two can be included into the process of business communication, market relationships may exist without the relationships based on devotion. Bringing the concept of mutual trust and dedication to each other into the business environment is an idealist concept.
Finding the theory that supports my position regarding the issue is, in fact, much easier than locating the one that can be used as the foundation for Simon Sinek’s concept of developing trust and “being a parent” (Sinek, n. d., 00:06.34) to the employees.
The lack of theories, which support the trust based hierarchy within a company can be explained by the fact that the very essence of market based relationships concerns solely providing services to the end customer, while the reconsideration of the role of the corporate values, mission, vision and the relationships between the staff, the managers and the leaders of an enterprise can be viewed as a comparatively recent addition to the standard set of theoretical postulates. Indeed, the theory known as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which partially supports my opinion, has been reigning for quite long in economy.
With the development of the global market, the world has switched to the Rational Choice Theory, which put a stronger emphasis onto the HR management and the leader–employee relationships, yet still recognized the need for the leader to create certain connection with the employees for the latter to feel appreciated and, therefore, motivated for excelling in their job. After all, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which has been the basis for the economic and financial strategies of state governments, major corporations and local SMEs, shows that physiological needs are at the top of people’s priority lists, whereas the values related to self-actualization are clearly ranked the lowest.
The payoff function, which the Rational Choice Theory puts so much emphasis on, is the key to understanding the preferences of the agents of business and market relationships, and it shows that the members of market and business relationships are much more interested in the outcome of the actions and negotiations that they carry out than in the relationships, which they form with their partners in the course of these negotiations. Thus, in the real world, the ideas suggested by Sinek can only be applied after being made less straightforward and uncompromising.
Sinek, S. (n. d.). Why good leaders make you feel safe. Ideas worth spreading.