Category Archives: Trust

5 Ways Leaders Can Build Trust in Teams

Half Dome Cables, Yosemite National Park

Image by SteveD. via Flickr

Every good leader understands the role of trust in relationships among co-workers but might not know what they can do to help build or even solidify that trust. Trust is essential to any relationship whether in or outside of the workplace. Trust must be gained to start laying a proper foundation of mutual respect and awareness. Leaders can help monitor the workplace environment and assess the level of trust among employees by having frank conversations with them or simply engaging their team in conversations and gauging the interactions that take place. Every leader can lend a helping hand to their team no matter what level of cooperation and trust your team may have. Here are five actions to do from Nan Russell to build trust.

1. Operate with respect. Respect is an essential trust building component. If you don't offer respect to others, why would someone give you their trust? The respect component operates as a transparent window giving others a glimpse of who you are. In the words of Malcolm S. Forbes, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who do nothing for him.” What are your actions communicating about you?

2. Eliminate the blame game. Finger pointing, assigning fault, or condemning others' mistakes diminishes trust. That ferret-out approach instills fear, not innovation; reduces engagement, not errors; and reinforces scapegoating, not accountability. But people who step up to accept their mishaps and acknowledge their mistakes build trust, enhance accountability, and enable future-focused solutions.

…More at Five Trust Building Dos | Psychology Today

Trust is greatly enhanced with active involvement among all parties and leadership should be providing the path to a respectful and trusting team. Leaders need to be aware of the relationships among their team and should monitor them to head off any problems before they occur. One way to do this is to routinely engage employees in trust building exercises that emphasize the five methods presented above. Leaders can take these five to-do items and put them in their toolbox for their next retreat or seminar as a way to build trust in their teams.


Musings on Leadership – Recognition

James, I think your cover's blown!

Image by laverrue via Flickr

Everyone wants recognition. Don’t believe me? Think about it – a desire for recognition starts early. As an infant we cried for recognition that we needed something. As we became toddlers and could voice our needs and wants, we said “mom” repeatedly or may be poked our mom until she stopped what she was doing and paid attention to us.

In large that is all that we are looking for in recognition. It isn’t just about getting praise for a job well done. It is about being acknowledged.

Shift your focus from yourself to the team.

All great leaders put their team’s interests ahead of their own. As Jack Welch counsels new leaders, “It’s about them, not about you.” Think about why each person is involved and what’s in it for him or her if the team succeeds. Set up touch points that have value for each team member – financially, professionally or intrinsically. For example, before sending your next email, think about what additional value – such as information sharing, recognition or coaching – you can add beyond addressing the specific task at hand. Can you share an update on a related project? Maybe you can provide a strategic view of how this work fits into the bigger picture. Is there something the team has recently done that deserves praise? Moving from a task focus where you manage others to a mission-led focus where you serve your team opens up the potential for deeper engagement, better alignment and higher performance….More at Managing Virtual Teams: Three Keys to Success

Trish Gorman’s suggestions apply not just to the virtual team, but to any team. Further, recognition can be as simple as awareness of the individuals on your team. If you know your team and put them first, you will find greater success. Recognition big and small count in their eyes.

More Reading


Leadership – Emotions

Sky symphony

In Leadership – Emotions are to be expected. The difference for leadership is that emotion may be more prone to anxiety from the weight of responsibility to those we lead as Peter Bregman points out beautifully.

. . . leadership is, as much as anything, an emotional adventure.

If you want to be a powerful leader, you have to become familiar with the sweat-inducing, anxiety-producing, adrenaline-generating emotions of being lost while people are following you. Because that is, as often as not, the emotion of leadership.

One of the defining characteristics of strong leaders is their ability to endure uncertainty and ambiguity. They are willing to move through shame and embarrassment and anxiety and fear. Those are the feelings of leadership as much as courage and persistence and faith. In fact, it’s because those feelings are ever-present that we need courage and persistence and faith.

It takes tremendous confidence to lead. Not the confidence of having all the answers — that’s arrogance — but the confidence to move forward even without the answers. You have to be capable of feeling awkward and uncertain without giving up. You have to believe that you and your team have what it takes to see yourselves through — or, if need be, to pick yourselves up and start again.

Here’s what not to do: pretend you’re in control. Because that erodes trust, increases your shame, and robs those around you of the opportunity to step in, learn, and help….More at The Emotional Adventure of Leadership – Peter Bregman – Harvard

What Bregman is getting at is the emotional intelligence needed to leader others. Leadership requires awareness of emotions in yourself and others. It needs to allow for effective communication to convey a forward focus while also addressing any elephants in the room effectively, mindfully, and openly.

The emotional response of the leaders can guide the emotional response within the business and its people. Leadership’s emotions are the scene setter. What scene have you set?

More Reading




5 Tips for the Chief Belief Officer (CBO) in You

Leaders, from all positions are also a Chief Belief Officer (CBO). As a CBO it is important to remember to show that belief in others.

grandmaster FLAX ~ II

Image by striatic via Flickr

Hindu mythology expert Devdutt Pattnaik is the Chief Belief Officer (CBO) of the retail giant Future Group. What do you think that title means? When quizzed by the media, Pattnaik stated that this designation was created to align the objectives and culture of the company and to form relevant strategy to drive sales….More at Designer Designations: Indian companies giving innovative titles to 

Yet it isn’t just about the organization. The Chief Belief Officer needs to align belief in your followers so they see what can be accomplished. What they are capable of. Belief in those around you shapes energy, commitment, focus and drive to be a follower.

Are You a CBO?

No matter your position…

Regardless of your title…

If you want to lead, you’ve got to be a CBO!

Chief Belief Officer

If you want to influence others, you’ve got to believe:

    • Believe in an awesome, empowering vision of what could be.
    • Believe in how your team is making a difference.
    • Believe in each team member individually – their talents, ability, and potential.
    • Believe in your team’s ability.
    • Believe that tomorrow is possible, that the people around you can do it, and that together you’re going to figure it out.


The trick in an electronically mediated world is conveying that belief through leadership. It means taking a step away from the tether and meeting face-to-face. Try these ideas to show your belief -

1. Greet others with a smile and a warm hello. A warm hello is welcoming and individualized. A warm hello to Grandma is different than a warm hello to a coworker, employee or friend. Use this opportunity to invite others to be open and responsive.

2. Show appreciation! Whether for a particular project well done, or the day-to-day mundane tasks of the job appreciate boosts others and shows you are paying attention. Say it rather than sending it, it gives more impact.

3. Recognize that no one is perfect. This doesn’t meant that the job can’t be done, it means it is time to give life to others through your energy, your vision, and acknowledgment of another’s talent. This gives them a chance to soar with the eagles.

4. Give others room to grow. Humans are inately curious and want to show we can stretch beyond the sandbox given by a title. Give the tasks that let others explore their capabilities.

5. Share the glory. If a leader accepts all the glory for a team effort, talents are not noticed or acknowledged. Belief in ones talent can stumble. Frustrations can build. Find a way to show everyone’s contribution.

Improve the mindset of your followers – be the Cheif Belief Officer.

More Reading



Trust, but Verify



Trust, but verify, ”said Ronald Regan famously throughout the cold war.  At the time, those words defined his leadership skills as he interacted with Russia and Iran during his presidency.  The power of those three words hold true today as they have been used consistently by subsequent leaders, such as President Obama. Take a look at this article written by Ned Lamont for the  In it, he demonstrates the relevance of the term in today’s politics.

Trust, but Verify

Last week President Obama struck the traditional pose of the commander in chief, standing on the DMZ, staring down North Korea through his high-powered binoculars. One leg of the axis of evil, North Korea, is not just developing nuclear capability, it has nuclear weapons, it has sold nuclear weapon technology, and within a month it will launch a rocket capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. Until his death, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was caricatured as a dwarf in high heels with a propensity for R-rated videos, not exactly the rational actor one can contain with embargoes, diplomacy, and the threat of annihilation.
Often dubbed ‘the most dangerous nation on earth,’ Pakistan not only has an expanding nuclear arsenal, they have shown a willingness over the years to share their technology, for a price, with the likes of North Korea, Libya, Iran and Syria. But these unstable, not always rational, nuclear armed actors are not at the top of America’s list of monsters to destroy.”I know that containment might have been viable for the Soviet Union during the cold war, but it is not going to work with the current fanatical Islamist regime in Iran,” said outgoing Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman. Of course, there were similar arguments directed at the shoe-thumping fanatic Khrushchev, not to mention Mao’s nuclear-armed China, which spoke of sacrificing half of China’s population in a nuclear war to promote communism. Presidents from Truman and Eisenhower to Reagan and Clinton chose containment. “Trust but verify,” Reagan commanded, and the Iranian call for talks starting next month must focus on verification of the civilian uses of the Iranian nuclear program.  Original Story Here.

Trust, but verify” is not just a famous quote, but an intelligent and strategic tactic used by our leaders today, and hopefully, those looking to define their leadership skills.


Trust and the One Minute Manager

Trust and the One Minute Manager is the topic we discuss in this post. We choose this focus to acknowledge the 30th Anniversary of Blanchard and Hershey’s phenomally successful and valuable book, “The One Minute Manager.”

Trust is such a critical issue in every organization today. If you don’t have the trust of the people in your organization, you cannot be an effective leader. Randy Conley “interviews” the “One Minute Manager (OMM)” about the topic of trust.

OMM: Well, I think having trustworthy relationships is the number one priority for leaders, and the three secrets support a leader in achieving that goal.

Randy: I thought the three secrets were techniques for managing people more effectively. Explain to me how they help leaders build trust.

OMM: One aspect of building trust Continue reading