A little known fact among leaders is that your perception of reality is not the same as the facts.
Leaders gets tunnel vision when they start looking at how they would do things by themselves and in the time they want things done instead of what is actually achievable. This is BAD, VERY BAD! Here’s why, as leaders you have a team of people that need to work together. If you’ve put your team together properly you have a good mix of talents and not a team of cookies. One of the most motivating things said to me early in my career was this, “We hired you as a professional, do your job and let us know what you need to do it with.” The worst thing that can happen to any employee is to be given a job and not the responsibility or resources to do it with. The difference between these two extremes is TRUST, and not only the trust of your team but the trust in your own leadership abilities. The result of these lack of trust issues is bad morale, polarizing staff against each other or yourself, continual staff turn over and eventually poor public perception of your organization. We need to remember that to be trusted we need to first trust others, not with our words but with our actions. And realize that we all make mistakes.
As leaders there are a few things that we need to keep in mind to prevent us from showing people through our actions that we don’t trust them. First of all, you need to work with facts and not your perceptions. Secondly, you need to understand that you don’t know everything and you need to allow the people you’ve picked do their jobs to the best of their abilities and supply them with the resources they need. Finally, listen to your people. And you need to understand their perspective. Not only will this build trust, but it will give you a better understanding of the facts. This builds a solid working relationship, staff loyalty and ownership in the organization by all involved.
So when it’s all said and done, we need to remember that trust is the cornerstone of every quality organization and building upon that trust starts with you the leader.