No, that’s not me! I’ve never jumped from a plane, and I never will. You can ask my wife, Sarah. She can vouch for me. I am by no means a thrill seeker. I don’t even enjoy roller coasters. For me, things like this are akin to “near-death experiences.” I find zero enjoyment in them. However, if I were open to something like this – in this case, jumping from a plane, I would definitely want someone on my back whom I could trust my life with. Let’s face it, I have a wife and two children, Eiley (I-Lee) & Nathan, who rely on me. It’s important that I remain alive! As I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, I’m saying all of this with a sense of humor, but trust is important. Whether we are jumping from a plane for the first time, leading a team of people, or serving our clients and customers, trust is an absolute must if we are going to be successful over the long term in fulfilling the purpose of the organization we work for. And when times are tough, without trust and the ability to say, “Don’t worry, I’ve got your back,” things can be even more challenging than they need to be.
As you know, trust is unconditional to great relationships. And when it comes to leadership, it’s absolutely necessary. Recently, I did a simple search for the word “leadership” on Amazon. It delivered over 100,000 results for books alone. With this many results, one might think leadership is complicated. Personally, I think at times we make it more complicated than it needs to be. So, with that in mind, I would like to simplify leadership a bit.
At the end of the day, every person we lead in the workplace wants to know that they can answer the following four questions with a resounding, “Yes!” regarding their leader. As you will see, the last question relates explicitly to trust. I would like to propose that when, as leaders, we do an excellent job of meeting our team members’ needs and expectations regarding the first three, trust is a natural byproduct.
Here are the four questions our team members are asking of us:
- Do you care about me as an individual?
- Do you believe in my ability to reach my potential?
- Are you willing to help me get there?
- Can I trust you?
In the weeks ahead, I would like for you to consider these four questions as you work with those you lead. Be more intentional about letting your team members know you care; that you believe in them; that you are there when they need you; and that ultimately, you can be trusted – yes, even if you are asking them to jump out of a plane for the first time with a parachute. Let’s face it – some of them may feel like that’s what you’re asking them to do.
“There are three qualities a leader must exemplify to build trust: competence, connection, and character.” – John C. Maxwell
Nathan R Mitchell is America’s Leading Empowerment CoachTM and the Editor of Leadership Addict. In 2010 he founded the business and leadership development company, Clutch Consulting. Nathan is also a Certified Speaker, Trainer, and Coach with The John Maxwell Team. Originally from Springfield Missouri, Nathan earned his B.S. Degree in Management and an MBA from Missouri State University. Currently, he lives near Tulsa Oklahoma with his wife and children. His purpose in life is to empower others to lead to their full leadership potential.