The most important element in a program, team, or organization is trust.
If there is no trust, there is no shot at maximizing potential.
How do people win trust?
I want to throw out three primary ways I think leaders win trust.
Before I break these down, I have a few items to work through.
One, we need all three. However, I think we all have a ‘lead tool’. The ‘lead tool’ is the one that comes most naturally and easily for you. Doubling down on the lead tool raises the ceiling of trust. Improving the other two helps prevent trust cracks from happening in the foundation.
Two, I don’t add character to this list because that is the price of admission to be a leader. If you lack character, it is impossible for you to win trust.
And lastly, when you attempt to rank these in order, know that some people have a distinct order while others have some problems figuring out the exact order. If this is you, ask people who know you well, they will know!
Let’s work through the three primary ways leaders win trust.
Connection. Some people are naturals when it comes to connecting with others. These are people who are great with people and seem to relate well to almost anyone. People trust others when they feel a connection.
Clarity. If you have ever heard someone say the head coach is a CEO-type leader, they are probably saying this because of a leader’s ability to bring clarity to those he/she is leading. People with high clarity, have a clear vision, know where the organization is going, and how they are going to get there. They bring clarity to others in both the big picture as well as the day-to-day. People trust and feel safe when a leader has and communicates clarity.
Competence. People with competence as their lead tool are just really really good at their craft. This is the leader who wins trust because he/she is able to help their athletes perform at a high level. They prove over and over again that they can put their athletes in a position to have great success on the field. This wins trust from athletes.
What is your ‘lead tool’? And what are second and third? Knowing how you primarily win trust and the order of these three is important to gaining and maintaining trust with the people you lead.