The Power of Trust


How do you start pursuing your lifelong dream of sailing, especially when you’re already in your mid forties? For me, it took one crucial ingredient: someone who believed in me.

When I first set out to learn how to sail on a single-handed dinghy in a tidal river with strong winds and unpredictable conditions, I knew next to nothing. But with the guidance and support of my coach Peter Lock, I was able to go from launching the boat and knowing nothing more, to confidently racing against the wind in just a few short weeks.

As my instructor and I set out on the water for my first lesson, I was nervous and unsure of myself. But he remained calm and confident, assuring me that he would be there to help if anything went wrong. And sure enough, on my first attempt to tack the boat, I lost my balance and ended up tipping us both into the cold river water.

What struck me about my instructor’s approach was his willingness to let me make mistakes and learn from them. He didn’t try to shield me from failure or prevent me from capsizing.

Thanks to my instructor’s trust, sailing has become more than just a hobby for me.

It has become a way of expressing myself and a source of independence and confidence. I have learned to approach challenges with a calm and confident mindset, trusting in my own abilities even when things feel scary and uncertain.

This experience has also informed my approach to coaching women transitioning to product management.

I have found that when you show trust and belief in someone, they are more likely to believe in themselves and achieve incredible things. This is evident in the testimonials of the women I have coached, who have gone on to make significant contributions to companies and startups.

Due to the profound impact of trust on both individual and team success, our community chose trust as the inaugural topic. We were honored to have Nataliya Becker join us, leveraging her expertise as an executive coach and facilitator for leadership and cross-functional teams to delve into the multifaceted nature of trust.

Nataliya skillfully transformed what may appear as an elusive concept into something more tangible by introducing a trust equation that encompasses influence and collaboration. According to her, trust is constructed through elements like credibility, reliability, and vulnerability, while it crumbles when individual agendas take precedence over collective interests.

As I look forward to the year ahead, I am excited to continue sailing as well as coaching women to transition into tech product management or launch their own tech startup.

A heartfelt thank you to Nataliya for her invaluable support in our shared mission to elevate aspirations for women in the tech industry.

Becker, Nataliya. “The Trust Equation for Influence & Collaboration.” Becker Leadership, 26 Oct. 2023,

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Eleni Lialiamou

Eleni is an international Product & Strategy Leader deeply committed to leveraging technology for impactful growth. She leads with innovation and ethics, merging tech products with ESG strategy to drive business & sustainability outcomes.

Eleni trains, coaches, and advises tech companies, focusing on strategy, organizational design and product management. Her goal is to help them discover and deliver tech-enabled products with a positive impact.

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