A leader is only as great as his following

In his excellent book, the Trusted Executive, John Blakey tells us that “the world is ready for a different breed of executive; a leader with transformational trust-building skills. If you want to anticipate and take the lead, if you want to be a pioneer in the 21st-century boardroom and deliver outstanding results, inspiring relationships, and build a cast-iron reputation for trustworthiness then you need to develop trust building habits.”


There are pivotal moments in time that demonstrate truly remarkable feats of leadership. From Martin Luther King’s commitment to an equal society, to Apollo 13’s heroic journey back to earth, to present-day Satya Narayana Nadella’s epic transformation of Microsoft’s technology – we look to these moments not only as catalysts of change, but as reminders that no leader achieves success alone. Having a following is great and all – but how do you ensure you have mobilized people who are inspired to achieve, rather than manipulated to perform?

Trust builds success

At Antenna, we use technology to create memorable experiences for visitors. As a company focusing on innovation in the art space, the more efficient we are in our processes, the more time we free up for employees to pursue their creative sides and the greater the opportunity for delighting our customer experiences. This entire process, from production to execution would not be possible without our dynamic teams working together toward a common goal. The ability to go beyond one’s comfort zone and ultimately challenge one’s mindset from “I don’t know,” to “let’s find out”, occurs when there is trust between leadership and the organization. Employees know that when they jump from the plane they will land with a parachute. Trust matters. Only with mutual trust can your organization become great. Only with mutual trust will your team feel the fear and do it anyway.

The ability to pivot to an innovative and highly efficient technology-driven company over the past 4 years has been tremendous – but no success occurs in isolation. The execution of this excellence is dependent not only on leadership’s ability to inspire, but on management’s ability to carry out essential functions and ensure the company cause is articulated throughout the entire organization. It is then up to the rest of the organization to take these ideas and turn them into impact. The system works because leadership takes the time to understand what really matters to each employee, always acting in line with their interests. When you achieve this, you give greater meaning and value to your employees’ roles, enabling loyalty that goes far beyond a paycheck.

Cause and effect

What we put in determines what we get out. This realization has lent itself to how Antenna has been operating for the past 4 years. If we trust our employees and give them greater responsibility in their roles, we will enable a following that are dedicated to delight. Remember, all healthy relationships are based on trust.

So the next time you are reflecting on your organizational culture, ask yourself these: Are you transparent and consistent in your actions? Does your company promote relationship building and human connection between employees? Is your culture inclusive, giving each employee equal opportunity?

About Us

We are innovative storymakers and creative technologists devoted to visitor-first experiences.

We make audio tours, mobile apps, multimedia guides, podcasts, interactives, and superior story-driven content for the museum and cultural sector.

UK Office

The Office Group
20 Eastbourne Terrace
London W2 6LG
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 3365 8600

US Office

15 River Road, Suite 15B
Wilton, CT 06897
Tel: (203) 523-0320
Fax: (203) 354 5519
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