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You trust her. But she trusts him. He trusts somebody else. You just can’t win. (Thank you for the words, J. Geils Band.)

Too many teams operate with the illusion they can improve performance while maintaining current levels of trust among team members. This idea is ludicrous.

With seemingly eternal labels, members identify who they will and won’t trust. Then they go about their day conducting a sham: It’s not the matrixed reporting structure that’s difficult to navigate, it’s the “who-trusts-who” arrangements that must be traversed. The journey is filled with the land mines of peer-suspicions.

Does the team of which you’re a member benefit from complete trust? If the answer is “no,” differentiate yourself by ending the charades and taking actions that elevate trust in your next meeting.

If the answer is “yes,” distinguish your leadership by asking the team why this is so.

(Do you trust yourself to act?)

Activate Your Greatness.

Activate Your Greatness.

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