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Trust is the No. 1 characteristic of leaders. Without trust, people won’t follow you. Can you imagine buying products from a store or insurance from an agent you don’t trust? You’re just not going to do it. Would you do repeat business with someone you didn’t trust, regardless of price?
I remember a time when I was at one of our large construction jobsites. I walked up to one of our long-time, dedicated cleanup crew laborers and asked why he wasn’t using the wheelbarrow to get the job done faster.
He replied, “My foreman wasn’t here this morning. He never gives me the key to the tool storage bin. So I’m using my shovel to carrying the trash all the way across the jobsite to the trash container.”
I did not think that was smart jobsite management. Why didn’t the foreman trust him with a key?
People who aren’t trusted don’t go the extra mile; they just go through the motions and do the minimum. One of your jobs as a leader is to develop trust. Rather than doing the important jobs for your people, you can learn to trust your people. In a Gallop survey poll, 66 percent of workers were asked to make decisions, but only 14 percent said they’d been empowered and trusted to make decisions.
Do you solve others’ problems?
People know that when they make decisions, you tend to second-guess them, often overrule them, and don’t trust them to be as smart as you. So, your people stop making decisions, stop being responsible, give you back full accountability, and continue to bring you more problems. People responsible for nothing are responsible for nothing. Being 99 percent responsible is the same as 0 percent responsible. Either you are responsible, or you’re not. You can’t be partially responsible. You can’t say, “Handle this, but check with me first.” Trusting people is the key to improving their performance.
Please handle this!
Low control = high performance
Leaders inspire others to become their best. Not tell, not do, but inspire. I’ve changed my role during the last 20 years, from a hands-on control freak to an inspirer, encourager, motivator and coach, to get the results I want. And, this now makes me really excited about coming to work. In my speaking presentations, I ask business owners on their handouts to draw a circle the size of a quarter. Then I ask them to write all the things in the circle they can’t let go of. In my opinion, there’s really nothing you can’t delegate except mission, vision, values and setting clear goals and targets. Everything else can be delegated with enough staff and resources.
Take the test
|Last Updated on Monday, 20 June 2011 14:52|