Recently we posted a summary of the key points I made in a talk to the Wooster Young Professionals. Now let’s take a look at some selected video segments, starting with a concept I call “the bride and the veil.”


Check It Out:

YP video image

This concept actually stretches further. In the Building Trust Experience we define the three elements that are simultaneously needed to secure trust between two people:


  • Ongoing open and honest communication
  • Genuine care and concern for the other, evidenced by investing time and personal interest
  • Competence: being able to do what we are counted upon to accomplish


When coworkers get too caught up in the organization chart (the veil), they lose focus on the business processes (the bride) and their contributions to the business suffer, which often limits or even damages their competence as perceived by others.


Let’s say an employee witnesses a customer being poorly served. Since most organizations cannot afford this, they would want that employee to quickly intervene on the customer’s behalf. But in many cases, employee self-talk sounds like:


  • “Their supervisor ought to fix this!”
  • “I’m just a worker bee; it’s not my place to say something.”
  • “What if I get in over my head? Nah. Better let the higher-ups fight it out.”


bride not the veilThese and other veil-focused thoughts lead us to miss golden opportunities to make a difference and show others how much we care. Instead, inaction becomes part of our professional reputation.


Am I suggesting that we ignore the chain-of-command? No way. Trust would be scarce indeed if we did. I am saying that our first thought should always be to “make the bride happy” – in other words, to take time, cost, and hassle out of our business processes.


We are organized the way we are for only one reason: to operate our flow of activities in a simple, cost effective and easy manner. As we find better ways to handle things… we reorganize ourselves! This proves that the org chart serves the processes, not the other way around.


Veil-Focused Behaviors

Do you find yourself doing the things on this list?


  • Pass the buck (it’s her job…)
  • Confuse your influence level with your official authority
  • Sit on important yet unasked questions
  • Craft “ticking” emails to others, copying bosses (hey, I’m a team player…)
  • Assume your value to the organization is defined by what org chart box you’re in


None of these help the bride or your career.


Wherever you find yourself in today’s org chart, if you take time, cost, and hassle out of your processes, you will demonstrate your competence, build trust, and maybe even move to another box sooner than you think.


Image Source:

 Video courtesy of C&C Video Productions and Modern Marketing Promotions

Exciting news! Bruce’s first book, “On My Own, Recollections of an Unlikely CEO“, will be coming soon to Amazon and bookstores near you. Stay tuned to for more updates and information.