The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Power Is Nothing Without Trust …


It can be super daunting because people feel it’s more about dealing with others shit than doing great work.

And sometimes it is.

But it doesn’t always have to be that way.

Whether I am a good manager is something my colleagues would have to tell you, but one thing I think I am good at is building a team. That’s not just down to who you hire – in some ways, that’s the easiest bit – it’s how you keep them all together while moving them collectively and individually forward once they’re in.

And for me, it comes down to one word.

It’s that one at the top of this post.


Small word.

5 letters.

Means everything.

But one thing I was taught that has served me well is that trust is earned not just handed to you because of your position.

Yes, Hemingway said the best way to trust someone is to trust them – and I get that, because so much starts with the attitude you have towards someone – but as a manager, I believe the key to achieving it is to accept you start with none of it.

Which is why if you’re at a point where you could be taking on a management position and are either fighting against it or daunted because of it, let me tell you what has helped me.

When you take the job – regardless how well you know you team – don’t expect them to trust you.

It would be nice if they do, but even then, don’t take it for granted.

Earn it by proving it.

Keep earning it by continually proving it.

Be transparent, honest, consistent, constructive and supportive.

Oh, and for gods sake give a shit about what those you are responsible for, give a shit about.

They can deal with you fucking up.

If it’s your first management gig, they almost expect it.

But they need to feel you support them, back them and want the best for them.

That doesn’t mean you pander or creep, it just means they know you want them to succeed better than they thought they could by finding ways to develop their talent to be better than they thought they ever could.

Earn their trust by investing your time in their lives. Listen. Be honest. Give a shit. Talk to them. Make space for them to grow, be inspired, fuck up and fail. Not to mention for them to change your mind on things you thought you were certain on. Never let good enough ever be good enough – for you, for them and the work being created. Know what you don’t know so they can learn from someone who does.

Yes, you will still have to deal with their shit – and they’ll have a ton to give you over time – but they will repay you by making the best work of their lives because ultimately, you’ve created the environment that enables them to keep performing at their best in ways that are better than they ever imagined.

And that’s when you discover management isn’t all filled with darkness, but also with brilliant light.

31 Comments so far
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You’ve been a boss for ages but the words “Rob Campbell” and “manager” still don’t look right being together. You’re alright. You can be brutal with your honesty and annoying with your immaturity, but anyone who can write this post means you get it.

Comment by Bazza

Specifically when you were busy and he wasn’t. But if the other way round he would go mad if you even coughed in his direction.

Comment by Pete

Yes. And when he riffed on ideas and said something really good but couldn’t remember what it was when you asked him to repeat it 2 seconds after he said it. That’s when I started taking Katerina’s recorder into meetings with him.

Comment by Bazza

Do you want me to start listing all the annoying things you did? I guarantee it will be longer than your list on me. Hopefully. Maybe.

Comment by Rob

they were a couple of fuckwits but you can outscore the fuckers every time campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

+1 for team Baz and Pete.

Comment by DH

I tried to compliment you earlier this week and you politely threw it back in my face so instead I’ll insult you and see how you react to that.

How come you know so about being a good boss but don’t follow any of it?

Comment by Pete

He got taught the method so he could always do the opposite.

Comment by Bazza

Congratulations Pete, you’ve made Andy very proud. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

dont overfuckingdo it campbell. semi proud.

Comment by andy@cynic

Campbell management theory. Get people to trust you, then manipulate the shit out of them with ease.

Comment by Billy Whizz

He wasn’t that bad. Yes he was. Pretty impressive though.

Comment by Bazza

Still never got either of you to pay for a round though, did I?

Comment by Rob

Is this why Robert was able to get us to do as he pleased?

Comment by Lee Hill

I’ll answer it this way Lee.

How many free flights and upgrades have you given him?

You’re welcome.

Comment by Bazza

💣 💥 🔥

Comment by Pete

Point perfectly proved.

Comment by Lee Hill

you made the bastard the fucking blagging king.

Comment by andy@cynic

Please don’t listen to them Lee.

Mainly because I would love an upgrade soon.


Comment by Rob

You are a new version of Robin Hood. You take from the rich to give to yourself.

Comment by Bazza

Donald Trump of adland? Except D has better hair.

Comment by DH

he fucking owns more property than the giant wiggy wanker.

Comment by andy@cynic

I knew this post was a terrible idea.

Thanks for reminding me to trust my gut more.

Comment by Rob

God damn good advise. Love your soon to be manager.

Comment by Carlos Vaz Monteiro

They’ve all trusted you to mess with them.

Comment by John

I’m sure Mr Canalside View has a view on your trustworthiness after the yesterday’s rabbit incident

Comment by Northern

Yes … though I will argue I taught him a valuable lesson that empowers him to move forward in a stronger way.


Or something.

Comment by Rob

Stretch him until he snaps, excellent

Comment by Northern

What I needed to read today.

I think you thoughts can be applied to all relationships, not just managing people.

Comment by Justin Lines

you must be in a fucked state if campbells wordy shit helped you. good luck getting better.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’m guessing he was fine till he read this post and hasn’t worked out Rob is the cause. He’ll learn.

Comment by DH

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