1. Members of your team have vigorous and productive debates in front of you. This is a clear sign they can share their truth and do not have to wait for the “meeting after the meeting.”

    We fool ourselves into thinking “everyone agrees” when team members silently nod their heads. If your team is not debating decisions in front of you, you have the wrong plan, the team members are weak or you have a fragile culture (or all three).

    ACTION: Insist on public debates and applaud the debate as much as you do the decisions they drive.

  2. People are telling you things – in front of others – that you do not like hearing. If “bad” news is always being delivered in private, that means people are investing time varnishing a version of the truth they think you can stomach. (Are they afraid you can’t handle the truth?) Additional note: The age of “don’t surprise me” is over. If there are no surprises, you are slower than your competition.

    ACTION: The next time you hear bad news in public, celebrate the timing.

  3. Team members can safely share their true level of confidence a plan will or will not succeed. Of course you are excited about the plan – but you cannot expect your confidence to carry the day. That is draining. Your confidence matters – but it is your team’s confidence that delivers.

    ACTION: Ask team members: What’s one thing we can do that would give you greater confidence our plan will succeed?

    You fail your team if you expect team members to adapt their styles or approach to meet yours. The goal is for everyone to grow stronger – together.

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