Trust and Integrity

Friday, March 1, 2019

I stated in my first post on my reflections of leadership in other industries that I would write a follow up post after having hung out in the world of finance for a day. This is pretty easy to do when you live in NYC. Originally for college, I was a finance major at NYU Stern School of Business before transferring out, so I have always had a bit of affinity for it.

I consider myself pretty good at reading people. This, of course, was not always the case. I became better at reading people after having a few really bad experiences where I should have known better than to trust someone. I’ve read a bunch of books on how to tell when people are lying and my favorite I called out in my books post. This is not something I wish that I had to learn but it does protect you from people who might not have the best intentions.

Most people will tell you to always assume good intentions, and this is true to an extent. However, having been through some really bad experiences where I did “assume good intentions” and should not have, I tend to be less and less willing to do that.

I am saying this, not because I think people in finance are shady, they aren’t, but because I believe it is important in any field. I, personally, place a lot of value on trust and integrity.

I’m not really going to focus this post on what an investment bankers job is like because honestly it wasn’t really anything to write home about. What I did find interesting was the lack of trust in the workplace. Trust is a huge thing for me, like I said, and I think having transparency goes hand-in-hand with that.

To gain trust, I believe a leader must also have integrity and a track record of doing the right thing. I liked this response to a tweet of mine about using “trust tokens” in the case leadership needs to keep something private.

I think people tend to under estimate how important it is to be transparent about things that don’t need to be private. I’ve seen a lot of people in positions of power, use their power of keeping information private against those under them. They don’t fully disclose the “why” and it leads to people they manage not fully being able to help solve the problem as well as not fully understanding the problem. It also doesn’t build trust.

Leaders should try to be cognisant of when something needs to be private and when they can be transparent about information. I also really enjoyed this insightful tweet as well:

Just thought I would put my thoughts in writing since I said I would. This experience seeing how other industries work has been super fun for me. I might try to find some other jobs to check out as well in the future.