The level of dialogue determines the level of trust. Fact.
Tight teams talk performance aggressive and hit each other with hard, performance enhancing truth. Tight teams don’t gossip or tell half truths. Tight teams fight to improve performance, not prove a point. The tightest teams have the best fights, the least fear, and the most love. The tightest teams do not necessarily have the most talent but they do get the most out of whatever talent they have. The highest performing teams have a depth of trust that most can’t even imagine, much less ever taste.
You do not get the team you want, leader. You get the team you deserve. Want a better team? Become a better leader. Trust yourself, not because you’re some kinda Pollyanna positive, but because you’ve led an examined life and are discovering that you have what it takes. Trust yourself because you’ve earned it and can rightly esteem yourself. Trust your team. Stop babying/coddling them. Your job, leader, is not to be like-able, it’s to be believable. Your job is to love the work and your team enough to not care if they like you as you make them get better. Your job is to make them do what they can. Push more tension toward them and learn to make it feel like it’s their idea.
Recently a client wrote me that he’s gonna stop hinting. You see he holds back speaking truth to some of his teammates who he’s not quite sure can handle it. So, he hints and hopes they take the hint, so to speak. This is passive aggressive not performance aggressive. This is not good. Please, leader, stop hinting and start hitting ‘em with truth in Love. Move from hint to hit. Hit them with hard truth they can use to get better instead of hoping they pick up on it on their own. Hit, don’t hint. Hit because you want to help, not hurt. Hit because it’s the right thing to do. Hit because you are kind not nice. You see, nice people hint and hope. Kind leaders, on the other hand, hit and help. Stop hinting around, faux leader. Hit and help. Good.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…