Business Killer: Lack of Trust

As an authorized partner of the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, T-R-U-S-T is the most important five letter word in business and the foundational behavior to creating a cohesive strategy team. As explained by Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, “When team members are genuinely transparent and honest with one another, they are able to build vulnerability-based trust. Team members who trust one another can be comfortable being open, even exposed, to one another regarding their failures, weaknesses, and fears. Vulnerability-based trust is predicated on the simple and practical idea that people who are willing to admit the truth about themselves are not going to engage in the kind of political behavior that wastes everyone’s time and energy, and more important, makes it difficult to achieve real results.”

Trust between the leadership team members is crucial to the long-term success of the strategy and the company. It drives engagement, loyalty and productivity. The late Peter Drucker, a Guru of Strategy Management said of trust, “in the ethics of interdependence there are only obligations, and all obligations are mutual obligations. Harmony and trust – that is interdependence, requires that each side be obligated to provide what the other side needs to achieve its goals and to fulfill itself.”

To build your TRUST quotient, develop healthy relationships by following these guiding principles:

T is for tell the truth – whatever the truth is, good, bad or ugly, it’s always best to tell the truth. Being honest and unafraid will create more confidence in your relationships with others.

R is for be reliable – just as you expect others to live up to their commitments, so should you. Ask your peers to hold you accountable and call you out when you are not performing to your maximum

U is for understanding – empathy for others requires the capacity to understand and feel what others are experiencing. Put yourself in their position, as you would want your peers to do for you. In the end, you are all in it to win.

S is for saying I’m sorry – Patrick Lencioni speaks of vulnerability-based trust. If you make a mistake, miss a deadline, or fall short of your target, have the courage to say you are sorry, and then make it up to your peers by exceeding expectations next time.

T is for trying – Michael Jordon said “you miss 100% of the shots you never take. It is you who makes everything happen and if you don’t try, nothing will happen. Jordon said, “I missed 9000 shots in my career and lost almost 300 games, and that is why I succeeded.”

What level of trust has your strategy team created? How would you rate the performance of your leadership team? How would you rate yourself on the Trust quotient? We’d like to hear from you. Learn more about our partnership with The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive team here.