Startups, learning, life and happiness by Paul Brown

Trust is rocket fuel

Trust in an organisation lubricates the machine, it is probably a pretty bad analogy but it is true - it makes everything run smoother and faster, it is rocket fuel for process.

It may sound obvious but we all have an evolutionary hard-wired attraction to people we can trust and a visceral aversion to those we don’t. Trust means less meetings, less ‘check ins’, less deep diving into pointless KPIs, less de-briefs, less micromanaging which all means more productivity.

With trust you are dropping fear and leaving your team to just get on with it. I find with this approach a team will always surprise you, everyone (if they are aligned with your vision) comes in to work wanting to do well, wanting to show off their talent and progress and leadership through trust is simply supporting and believing in your team to do just that and then leaving them to it.

Building trust is all about relationships and behaviour. As a leader it is important to demonstrate clarity and transparency, show empathy, to not shy away from your weaknesses, keep commitments, stay current and most importantly be completely transparent and honest.

The other awesome thing about defaulting to trust in your team is it spreads out to your customers too. Demonstrating a trusting culture to your customers through trusting customers to meet obligations will in turn build trust back to your organisation and when a customer truly trusts you to get on and do a good job it is the best (and quickest) way to create something special for them.

I think trust all boils down to love and fear ultimately - either work through love and trust in your team and what you are doing or work through fear of failing and push fear out in to the organisation.

If you choose love and trust every day you will move faster and cultivate a positive and powerful culture in your team. The next time you arrange a ‘quick catch up’ with someone in your team stop and ask yourself do you really need to do it, do you trust the person and are you doing this more for their benefit or for your own.