The Trust Barrier: Is it Blocking Your Success?

In my work, I find that clients who effectively delegate and create a team of trusted advisors are exponentially more successful than those who don’t.

It’s simple: leaders can’t do it all. Delegation is required for any business to grow.

Whether you’re a soloprenuer seeking to expand your customer base or a Fortune 50 executive who wants to accelerate revenue, success requires the involvement of others.

Delegation, both internally and externally (to vendors, partners and consultants) is essential. Finding the right people to support your strategies is not an easy thing. You can’t just hand over the reins to anyone who walks by without risking serious repercussions.

What About Trust?

Some of us trust too easily, assuming that everyone who claims expertise actually has it. Others have trouble letting go. Their ability to trust is damaged because they…

  • Have been burned in the past by an individual who didn’t deliver.
  • Believe no one can do it as well as they can
  •  Are afraid of being taken advantage of
  • Think that letting go is a sign of weakness

True leaders overcome these concerns, knowing that trust is an essential element in successful growth.

Certainly there will be times when we trust someone and things don’t work out, but what’s the alternative?

Being distrustful is like being tethered to a stake the ground. You can move around a bit, but your radius of influence is finite. You can only reach so far, and your impact is severely limited.

Refusing to trust paralyzes you, creates an inability to scale, prevents new ideas, and limits your horizons.

Learn to Trust

If trust is a concern for you, start small. Delegate small projects or minor responsibilities to others. Verify their abilities then allow them to do the work. Follow these best practices to get the results you want:

  1. Be clear about expectations and objectives. What are the desired outcomes?
  2. Define “rules of engagement” for communications and reporting, but don’t dictate how work gets done.
  3. Check in often, but don’t second guess or interrupt the work flow.
  4. Be accessible, listen carefully and respond promptly.
  5. Make time to review the project upon completion, discuss what worked well and needs improvement.

From Actions to Ideas

Stage two of trust-based leadership involves moving from actions to ideas, and that’s a big leap of faith.

It’s one thing to allow others to do “stuff”  that is clearly done correctly or not. Trusting people to share ideas, accepting them and acting on them takes a lot more faith.

Are you confident that the person you’re working with is an expert? Do you have faith in their guidance and input? Do you believe that if you follow their advice, you’ll be better off?

At this level, trusting someone else means acknowledging that you’re not the only expert in the room. Maybe you know some things better than anyone else, but no one knows everything.

It’s Not a Sign of Weakness

While accepting that we need help can feel like failure, leadership demands that we know when the time comes to bring in an expert.

Making the call at the right time is a sign of strength. It shows that we’ve moved beyond our own insecurities for the good of the organization.

Trusting and engaging others to help us get where we need to be demonstrates mature leadership. It untethers us, offering freedom to succeed.

Learn to let go and create a team you trust. You’ll be rewarded by significant growth.

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