Week #2: Untrusting Leaders
I adhere to the motto: Trust people until proven wrong. Trusting your team to work hard and to perform to the scope of their roles, and allowing them room to be innovative are critical to any businesses’ success.
A common mistake I see leaders make, one I made early in my career, is not trusting enough. True, trust must be earned, but I have also found that there may be more than one approach to success, and even if someone on our team wants to try another approach, I need to allow mistakes to happen for growth to occur. Plus, I have also been proven wrong at times and learned that if we focus on the outcome rather than the tactics of the approach (as long as the approach is consistent with our values), greater trust is a likely outcome.
Another way I see leaders fail in “trusting others” is through unclear decision making processes that plague many organizations. When components of decision making such as who, how, and when are poorly defined, the result will be lack of clarity, a loss of urgency, decreasing trust, and a lack of accountability. I have always used the RACI model to clarify who is responsible for each action in decision making (see “LOVE WORKS” (link to title). R = who makes recommendations on the decision, A = who approves the decision, C= who consults on the decision, and I = who has to be informed of that decision. I highly recommend you use the RACI model; although it may seem time consuming to go through the RACI process, it will expedite decision making, provide clarity, and build trust.
Leadership consistency also builds trust. If our desire is to build a workplace culture that breeds integrity, respect, hard work, empathy, or kindness, but our actions don’t model such values, our employees won’t buy into the culture and will see there is no accountability for actions. Consistency builds trust in your business environment, yet nearly all of us fail at being consistent with our culture or a set of stated values. If you make a mistake, admit it, and move forward. Don’t deny and don’t blame others. This authentic leadership modeling will build trust and strengthen your organization’s culture.
In summary, if you want to build trust on your team, let others do their jobs, clarify decision making, and lead consistently to your team’s stated values.
The fewer decisions we feel we need to make, the stronger a leader we are and the stronger team we have built. I try to hire only the best – and then I let them do their jobs. Micromanaging is one of the top three reasons that employees resign. It kills creativity, breeds mistrust, causes undue stress, and demoralizes your team. If you want to avoid these consequences, practice delegating, set clear expectations, let go of perfectionism, hire the right people, and then ask your employees how they prefer to be managed.
Giving them the opportunity to provide feedback not only ensures a sense of value and trust but also solidifies establishing clear communication channels and lets your team know you’re there when they need you.
Not leading with love
Leading with love in business, as in life, is always the right decision. It doesn’t have to be emotional, as emotions don’t always belong in business. However, there are factors to consider when leading with love and how to identify which is which when making decisions.
Try to identify with your gut. In terms of resolution, don’t overanalyze, don’t make out a list of pros and cons, simply take the action your heart wants. Open up the vibration to receive what will naturally come from that action over the remorse of losing an opportunity. Have faith in yourself and everything you have accomplished in the past.
Ignore your fears, breathe, pay attention to what you’re supposed to do as a leader, and have confidence in yourself that leading with love will always be the right choice and solution.
As you journey through your business leadership skills, it’s vital to understand that leading with your heart leads to no regrets. You will never go wrong if you listen within and make decisions based on trusting your actions and listening to your employees. Humility goes a long way towards creativity and innovation.
My mission is to share and impart the principles of “love” as the verb into businesses and organizations. With this in mind, become the leader you want to see and allow the rest to flow.