AUDIO: 3 Reasons Trust is the Leader's Responsibility
If you don’t trust your team, it’s your fault. He said he would take care of it and I made the mistake of trusting him. I should have known better. You know what they say, if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.
That was the turning point for me. I was either going to stay small so I could do everything myself, or I was going to learn how to build a team I could trust.
There seems to be an unspoken expectation in leadership that trust is a default. They’ve either “got it” or they don’t. I can either trust them, or I can’t.
And then comes the weighting process of excuses. Is it good enough to excuse lack of trust… or isn’t it? We don’t say it that way, but isn’t that how it works? Since there is no clear definition of what trust looks like, it’s importance or the measure that will be used to evaluate it, it remains subjective.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a believer in ‘non-negotiable’ trust. Or the ‘hold your breath’ till you see it trust. The most common is the phantom trust. The test of trust that’s a secret. A test easily failed because nobody knows they’re taking it. I know this, I’m not willing to give blind trust. But I have to know who I can trust or I don’t have much of a team. And, they don’t have much of a leader.
Trust is a Reflection of Great Leadership
If you’re a leader and you don’t trust your team, it’s really YOUR fault. I’m not just talking about the scary reality that everything is your fault (I’m all too familiar with that one). I’m talking about the basic, core-level responsibility of a leader.
Great leaders lead their team in clarity, culture and competence. If you’ve got a lack of trust, someone is unclear on one or all of these. Hopefully, it’s not you.
Every leader must cast a clear vision. That vision includes clarity about a compelling mission, core beliefs and the performance required to achieve it. Then begins the buy-in. Trust isn’t vague. It must be a clear vision cast by the leader as part of every strategic plan.
What would happen if Trust became fundamental to the vision?
What if trust were a doctrinal metric of your team?
What if everyone were clear about the definition of trust, the execution of trust and the value of trust?
Is it possible that Trust is more important than the specific outcome of the assignment or expectation?
What if the greatest possible value were that we can trust each other, win or lose?
At the end of the day, if you’re a leader and you can’t trust your team…. You’re not a leader.
There are 3 reasons Trust is the leader’s responsibility:
#1. The Leader casts vision for the team. Trust must be a key component of that vision. When the emotion of vision is shared, everyone must share the emotional security of TRUST.
#2. The Leader models the culture for the team. That culture must value Trust. The language of your culture, used by your team, must be a language built on trust. It’s WHO THEY ARE.
#3. The Leader teaches the criteria for success. Without trust, there is no defined success. Trust, like success, isn’t accidental. It has a specific aim and purpose. When everyone is clear that trust is a key component to their success, you’ve done a good job.
Every leader can raise the standard of trust. If you don’t raise it, you can’t expect it.
Being on the same page with your team means it’s acceptable to face fear and failure together. But it’s never possible to face it without Trust.
Add your comments to the conversation: How have you been approaching trust issues in your team? What can you change in your leadership change the standard of trust in your team? Post your reply below.