Trust is a 5-letter word

How and why trust is important at work and in life

Steve made a lot of mistakes. He was not the best manager one could have. But later in his life, he realized important lessons about people.

One of them is about trust.

Trusting people to know what to do is a factor in the success of an organization. If you end up micro-managing, telling people how to do things, then there’s a problem.

People generally don’t like being told what to do. That’s a natural behavior. But it is critical to let them know why or what.

Trust is a two-way street. Trust is the bond that makes all relationship grow stronger. You’ve heard that one a lot.

With trust, you let people make mistakes. And you trust them enough to learn their lessons.

I like how Victor Lipman offered this explanation behind Steve’s statement:

You know, when you're managing creative people you'll get the best results by telling them what to do, not how to do it.

It’s similar to telling a person which direction he or she is headed, instead of telling them how to get there.

Lipman added, “[D]on’t prescribe solutions but let creative people figure things out. They’ll find a better way.”

Well said.

Trust at work leads to empowerment, as former Netflix HR head Patty McCord surmises in her book called Powerful.

Netflix’s success was because of the culture it built. And it was about trust.

“No one wants to be treated like a child at work,” McCord once said.

TL;DR: organizations should look more to trust than control when it comes to people.

Giving a list of do’s and don’ts will not magically churn out creative solutions to complex problems. You trust people you hired to figure that out.

Trust is not about following blind. Trust is about earning the respect of people, and of their leaders. Trust is about treating your people as adults, McCord says.

Trust is built with consistency. –Lincoln Chafee



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Erwin Lemuel Oliva

Erwin Lemuel Oliva

An ex-journalist. Teacher. Dad. Loves Guitar & Books. Writes when inspiration hits.