This definition of trust has nothing to do with the 'Royal Academy of the English Language' definition.
On the contrary – this definition of trust has everything to do with organizational effectiveness.
You see - I don't care about 'right' definitions.
What I care about is results - the kind of results that you want your team to achieve.
Trust is when you know that the intentions of ALL your team members are good (1).
Trust is when you know that you don't need to protect yourself when you are in your team.
Trust is when you know that your team members won't ever use your own vulnerability against yourself.
Trust is when you speak up your mind with 100 per cent candor - knowing that such openness is for the good of everybody in your team.
In other words - without trust - it is unlikely that everybody in your team consistently speaks up their minds with 100 per cent openness.
When you remember this definition of trust, remember this sequence …
No trust, no candor - no candor, no 100% information - no 100% information, no best possible decision. It's that simple.
When there is no trust within your team, there is no complete frankness - and without 100% candor, your team doesn’t have all the information on the table for all your team members to see.
Since information is the main ingredient in good decision-making (the more information the better the decision) - lack of trust in your team decreases the likelihood that your team consistently be able to make the best possible decisions.
I repeat the sequence …
No trust, no candor - no candor, no 100% information - no 100% information, no best possible decision.
Knowing this sequence is critical to the success of your team.
I repeat this trust definition …
Trust is when …
If you want to build a high performance team - write this definition of trust AND the sequence mentioned above on your forehead.
Besides this definition of trust - the only remaining question is this:
How do you build trust - this type of trust - within the team you lead, in order to help your team consistently make the best possible decisions?
You will find the answer to this question on
this Leader Newsletter issue.
Trust is at the heart of good decision-making and flawless execution.
In this sense, your ability to build trust within your team is a fundamental leadership skill.
If you would like to learn more about this definition of trust through my speaking, training, or consulting services, please, click on this link.
To learn about the skills you need to manage the performance of your direct reports, go to my Management Skills page.
To learn about the skills you need to lead the performance of your entire organization, go to my Leadership Skills page.
To learn about other practical leadership skills, go to my More Skills page.
(1) Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA: 2002
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