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Iron Sharpens Iron Series: Trevor Glavin, President

If you are new to the Iron Sharpens Iron Series, I urge you to check out the inaugural post to learn more about what the series is all about.

Iron sharpens iron, and the people in my life sharpen me. They make me better. They make me more than I can be alone. And this series is about interactions I’ve had that make me better, that change my perspective, and that challenge me to grow. 

This is all about interactions that have left a lasting impression on me. No matter how small, or short the interaction, if it leaves an impression worth sharing, it will live in this series.

Trevor Glavin

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Trevor is the President of Modus Advanced, and one of the most authentic leaders I’ve ever met.


The Sharpening of Iron

Recently I mentioned my search for the positive leadership qualities I admire, and this entry in the series keeps going right down that same path.


As I’ve read more and more about leadership styles, authentic leadership has taken up quite a bit of my attention. It is by far the most attractive leadership style to me, in terms of who I’d like to be and the type of leaders I find myself most inspired by.


And the best part is that I get to interact with a person who embodies everything about this leadership style on a daily basis. So I pretty much just take notes constantly.


The particular interaction that this article is about is just one embodiment of this style of leadership, but is one of my personal favorites. Very similar to Matt Gillis’s entry in this series, you’ll read the story and think the moment is very small. But this incredibly small moment spoke volumes to me.


As most people who work with me will tell you, if I have an idea I’m excited about, I can be incredibly annoying. This was one such occasion, where I pestered poor Trevor until he got on the phone with me to talk about my idea to see if he was comfortable with me taking it forward.

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Because I’m at least aware that I’m super annoying (not that it has ever made me stop), as we closed the call I thanked him for putting up with me. He laughed and told me it was no big deal, but his next sentence was the most perfect thing I’ve ever heard.


He said: “If I’m ever not giving you what you need to be successful, I want you to call me and tell me, ‘You are failing me.’”


I literally remember his exact words, because the word choice itself was so important. His belief that as a leader it is possible for him to fail me, instead of vice versa, speaks louder than anything else he could have said.


And I’ll be totally honest, I’m the first person who would call “bullshit” on false promises in this vein. I’ve never been one to be shy with feedback. As such, I’ve had plenty of experiences where I was told my feedback was desired, but once I gave it, one of two things inevitably happened:

  1. Precisely nothing: My feedback was essentially thrown to the side and ignored.

  2. There’s the door: I was told if I didn’t agree with what was being done, I could happily see myself out the door.

Well, not only could I easily distinguish the sincerity in the words from Trevor, given that I had plenty of experience with the insincere, but he has lived out his dedication to them every day since.


He regularly asks for, and listens carefully to, any feedback I have. He regularly checks to ensure that I feel like he’s meeting his promises to me. And he acts swiftly on any feedback I provide, large or small, despite the fact that he has about 1,000 other things on his plate.


So thank you Trevor for being one of the greatest examples of an authentic leader I could ask for, and for providing such a great illustration for both Britt and myself as we evolve as leaders in our own organization. I couldn’t ask for a better role model.