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Don't drop me!
When we are building an effective team, one of the foundational components is trust. Many of the things we need to do in our professional lives require us to entrust significant portions to other people.
Trust has two components—we trust COMPETENCE, and we trust INTENTIONS. If you are a “flyer” on a cheerleading team, for example, you need to be able to trust that the team-members below you have the physical strength to catch you, the hand-eye coordination to catch you, and the knowledge of how to safely catch you… and that they WANT to catch you.
We need BOTH components when we trust others.
One of the best ways to grow these trust components on a team is to start with yourself. Walk the walk. Be honest. Do what you say you’re going to do, and do it when you say you’re going to do it. Aim to under-promise and over-deliver.
If you have a reputation as a leader who is a straight-shooter, you have the credibility to effectively communicate your expectations to the rest of the team. Establish your high expectations for integrity and reliability. Make sure you deal promptly with small problems before they become large problems—integrity can be grown, and many people can raise their game when the people leading them express high expectations for them. Make sure your people have the training or the skills they need, so that you can trust them to do amazing work.
However, whenever possible, get untrustworthy people OFF your team. Not only are they likely to let you down on the things you know about, they may be doing a bunch of other bad stuff that you DON’T know about. And leaving them on the team not only makes you spend time on CYA activities, it also erodes the morale of everyone else on the team who can’t count on the untrustworthy person, either.