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6 Pack To-Go: Put Trust on Your team

In a recent survey conducted by Development Dimensions International, 46.5 percent of the respondents reported that lack of trust was a problem in their organization.  What is at risk if trust is absent?  Real trust is a silent performance enhancer that sits beneath the surface of world class leaders and teams.  Trust enables stretch, mistakes, feedback, ideas, and exponential growth.  Want to create a team with a competitive advantage?  Try this 6 Pack To-Go:

  1. Be vulnerable.  Lose the perfect aura around you.  Show a scar.  Talk about a time you tried something different and it bombed.  Follow with how the incident made you stronger and closer to what you were trying to achieve.  Or try the bold one: say "I don't know".  Follow with how you and perhaps others will find out.  Be tired and push through it.  Be challenged and persevere.  Be scared and act courageously.  Think W.W.H.D? (what would a human do?) because, by gosh, you are just that - human.  People are inspired by extraordinary humans... so be one with a heart, mind, body and soul.
  2. Show up during tough times.  So often I see teams struggling for extended periods of time with no leader in sight.  A manufacturing line goes down and the leader lets the team wrestle with the problem and the ensuing mess.  A major client deadline is looming and the product is no where near ready for delivery.  Meanwhile the account leader spends a few hours in her office cleaning up her inbox.  Yes, teams should be able to handle day-to-day upsets.  No, you don't necessarily need to show up in your command and control mode to "fix" everything.  But DO show up for the team.  Pitch in with your strengths.  Be in the mire with them and help them be the best they can be that day.
  3. Take a stand...and stay there.  A stand is your word.  What do you stand for?  99.8% on-time delivery?  Creating and delivering the number one communications services company in the U.S.?  An injury-free work place?  An emissions-free manufacturing process?  Fantastic!  Stand in that place.  Let it be known through your actions that nothing, absolutely nothing, can move you off that stand. Tough times?  No problem.  Doubters?  Not a factor.  Political pressure?  No way.  When you are real about your stand you exude it 24/7.  The team will feel it.
  4. End the gossip.  You have seen it.  Just before a big staff meeting begins folks are spouting off about this manager or that employee and their obvious shortcomings.  People feed on it like appetizers before a wedding dinner. This exchange has no value and only serves to negate, debase and destroy others.  Makes you wonder what is happening in meetings you aren't privy to, doesn't it?  Commit to being one that does not participate in the feeding frenzies.  Commit to straight up, fierce conversations that promote healthy exchange and growth.  When you lead this way, your relationship with your team will be strong in ways you cannot imagine now. 
  5. Put the U in "mutual accountability".  Bring your unique skills to the party and own the matter what.  Lose the blame.  You win when the team wins...oh, and the corollary: you lose when the team loses.  I am reminded of Katzenbach's definition of a team: a team is a small number of people with complimentary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. The best teams maximize every facet of this definition and really bring it home with mutual accountability.  Show the team that you are in it for them.
  6. Be.  "To be is to do" - Sartre.  "To do is to be" - Socrates.  Two brilliant intellectuals.  Two brilliant statements.  The real power here is in the action.  In sum: be Trust.  Be the Trust you want to see in your world.  Do what you say you are going to do.  Come out from behind yourself.  Stand in Trust.  Of course the team is always watching you.  Are you?  How would you show up today if you were "being Trust"?  What are you waiting for?