News for employees, April 1, 2010


Training institute brings Stephen M.R. Covey to MU

Author asserts trust is No. 1 leadership skill

Motivational speaker Stephen M.R. Covey challenged an audience of Mid-Missourians to buck conventional wisdom that trust is earned.

"Lead out with trust first and add to it for verification,” Covey said. "Trust is the No. 1 leadership competency needed today."

'If you have the ability as a leader to trust in a world of distrust, that trust will cut though all kinds of noise and clutter.'

Covey, the author of "The Speed of Trust,” shared his concept of "smart trust" to some 250 students, business leaders and others March 26 at MU’s Trulaske College of Business. MU Extension’s Missouri Training Institute sponsored the visit.

"We have been hearing a lot about trust from our customers," said Alan St. John, MTI director. "Over the last several years we have been working with different groups to help them strengthen trust within their teams and organizations.

"We thought it would be exciting for people to hear from Mr. Covey because trust has been called the leadership challenge of the new millennium."

Covey asserted that trust is not as hard-won as most people think; is not warm, soft and fuzzy; and can be measured quantitatively.

"Trust is not merely a social virtue,” he said. "Trust is an economic value no matter was your role is.”

'One of the best ways to build trust is to give it because it’s reciprocal.'

Trust, Covey said, provides dividends; distrust is a tax on productivity and profitability. These outcomes, he said, are predictable.

"When trust is low, it takes longer to do things and costs more,” he said. "When trust is high, things get done fast and at a lower cost because there are fewer steps.”

To illustrate this principle, Covey asked the audience to think of post-9/11 increases in airport security.

Covey said: "One of the best ways to build trust is to give it because it’s reciprocal. The first job of a leader is to inspire trust. The second job is to extend it.”

Trust has a performance multiplier of three to four times, Covey said. For example, trust accounts for two-thirds of the scoring in the Forbes magazine's "100 Best Companies." Those companies, he added outperform competitors by 416 percent. Another example he shared is that in schools where trust is high, the probability for higher test scores is three-and-a-half times higher.

Trust can be measured qualitatively, he said. When trust is low, employee engagement and satisfaction also are low. But higher trust pays greater dividends. "For every point trust goes up, employee satisfaction goes up two points," Covey said.

"We have a deficit of trust in society, and we need leaders who can build it," Covey said. "If you have the ability as a leader to trust in a world of distrust, that trust will cut though all kinds of noise and clutter."

The Missouri Training Institute serves businesses and organizations with consulting and training on individual and organizational effectiveness.

Nominate your support staff for a 2010 clerical award

Regional faculty and staff members can submit nominations for the county clerical recognition awards through May 14. Awards are presented in four categories ― Rookie of the Year, Junior Clerical, Senior Clerical and Use of Technology.

All county-paid office support staff members are eligible for the awards, which include cash prizes. Nominees will be judged on:

Feedback helps improve fee generation worksheets

Update scheduled
for April 5

Based on user feedback, changes have been made to MU Extension’s fee-generation tool. The application will be updated Monday, April 5, and will be unavailable for most of the day, said Rhonda Gibler, MU assistant vice provost for extension-management.

New features will include the ability to add delegates who can access worksheets on your behalf, use templates for a particular program and capture per-participant expenses.

"As we have said in the past, this is a three-year process to develop the best overall strategy to assist the whole organization," Gibler said. "The input we have received has been very helpful, and I encourage faculty and staff to continue sharing their feedback.”

Additional training will be available starting in mid-April. Individuals will be able to register for the one-hour Adobe Connect sessions through WebApps.

Catch up with retirees at spring meetings

Current employees are invited to join MU Extension retirees at their upcoming luncheon meetings: April 14 in Columbia, April 16 in Sedalia, April 22 in Troy, April 23 in Jackson, May 12 in Gallatin, May 13 in Lamar and May 14 in Springfield.

For details, contact Barb Casady, extension development director.

Urban ISE rescheduled

The urban extension inservice training has been rescheduled for Sept. 28-29 in Columbia. Details will be reposted in WebApps.

MU Extension Insider is published on the first and 15th of each month for MU Extension faculty and staff. Send comments to Editor, Eileen Yager.