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Trust – the essence of leadership

Trust – the essence of leadership

When I ask teams to paint the picture of what a great team looks like, trust is in that picture. It is not always labelled as
such, but it is there.
In under 3 minutes Colin Powell (video) gives a comprehensive and engaging description
of why he believes creating conditions of trust is the essence of leadership.  He identifies what a leader must do:

  • have a clear mission and statement
  • give selfless service
  • prepare and train their people
  • give people the tools to do the job
  • take risks with their people

Patrick Lencioni in his book the Five Dysfunctions of a Team shows the dysfunctions in a pyramid; the absence of trust is at the base of that pyramid,
in other words nothing is going to happen without trust. The question of trust would be an interesting discussion for the Australian cricket
team at the moment!
If you are unsure about the impact of lack of trust try this exercise. Think of a time when someone did not trust you. It might be that
they did not give you the full story about the business, or they did not delegate work and micromanaged everything you
did. Now ask yourself how did you feel? I do this exercise with individuals and teams some common answers that come up are:

  • useless
  • worthless
  • frustrated
  • demotivated
  • angry
  • scared
  • miserable
  • not confident

Yet these managers expected their people to trust them. Trust, like many things in life, has to be given to be received.
I hope this gives you something to reflect on and share with your team.


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