Using Trust to Build your Team

I recently watched the Indy 500 & the movie The Big Shorty.  As so often happens I learn things that probably were not the intent of the movie; & in the case of the Indy 500, I was reminded of something that I hadn’t thought about for quite some time.  The things that I learn are often related to leadership. guess that is to be expected seeing as I have spent so many years focusing on leadership.  Relationships, trust, & team work seem to be the leadership themes that jump out at me.

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Watching The Big Short reminded me a bit of another movie Wag the Dog.  The movies simulate some real life events; which I think makes them a bit frightening.  When I finished watching I had to ask myself “how much of what I see on the news is true?” & “who can we really trust?”  We certainly can’t trust government, banks, or other big business organizations, bureaucracies & many of the people associated with these bodies.   If you have not seen these movies I strongly suggest you watch them.  Watch with an open mind & ask yourself “what would I do?”, “what is the right thing to do?”  What would you do in circumstances similar to those identified in the movies?  Who do you trust? Can you be trusted?  What criteria do you use to determine whether or not a person can be trusted?  Trust is the foundation of so much that we do in life: relationships (personal & professional), business, teams, & even things as simple as driving – you trust the drivers of the cars coming toward you will stay on their side of the road.


If you have never watched an Indy or Formula One race I urge you to watch at least part of one.  Watch long enough to see what takes place when the car goes into the pit.  The team work & precision is incredible.  As I watched the Indy 500 my husband & I were shocked to see one of the pit times for fuel & changing four tires took a bit more than 13 seconds; way too slow.  Usually you see this at around 8 seconds.  This affected the driver taking him out of the first & second place he had been jockeying for with one other driver.  I am not pointing this out to blame or point fingers, but to emphasize how important team work can be.  The racing team includes the driver, the pit crew, & the engineers (& maybe more); every one of them is essential to win the race.

One of the things that is important in team work is trust.  Teams can’t really work well together if the team members cannot trust one another.  I need to be able to trust you to do as you say & I need to be able to trust you to be understanding & accepting when I own up to a mistake.  I also need to trust you will support me when I need help, just as I will support you.  I need you to listen & really hear what I am saying & know that if you have concerns about a plan or project you will voice those concerns & I will listen.  I might not change what I am doing, but I will take your comments into consideration. I need to trust that if you are upset with something I have said or done that you will come to me to discuss.

As a leader you are in a position to demonstrate trust & to work to build trust among those you lead (coach, manage, train).  Trust is the foundation of any relationship; personal or professional.  Trust can be lost in a second & once lost take years to re-establish: start by making sure you can be trusted.