Do You Trust Your Team … Really Trust Them?

A number of articles have recently been written about the difference between leaders and bosses. They all offer valid points of comparison; and yet, I can’t help but feel that they’ve missed a key difference … TRUST.

Managers tend not to trust their associates. They may say that they do but their behavior is not congruent with their words. Let me give you an example by comparison.

Manager A, we’ll call him Andrew, says he trusts his people. He gives them assignments and expects that they’ll get them done. Then, Andrew proceeds to micromanage every detail of the job. He constantly holds meetings and demands updates on progress made. He insists that each part of the job be done exactly as he dictates it will be done and then he wants to hear DETAILED explanations of who is doing what and exactly how each job is being done. He often insists that parts of jobs that have been completed be redone “his way” even if the finished product accomplished what it was meant to do.

Manager B, we’ll call him Ben, also says that he trusts his people. He, too, gives them assignments and expects that the team will get them done. So far, Andrew and Ben sound like they do things the same way. But, it is at this point that their techniques begin to diverge. Ben does not micromanage. He holds his people accountable and, of course, he periodically asks for updates on progress being made. But he does this by asking if his team members are encountering any difficulties that he can help them resolve. He gives his associates the room and the opportunity to be creative and find innovative ways to solve problems and complete components of the assignment.

Which Manager truly trusts his people? Which Manager would you rather work for … or better yet, work with?

Great Leaders trust their people and provide them with the opportunity to innovate and create. When those innovations result in new efficiencies and savings, the Great Leader gives credit to the person(s) who discovered the innovation. If the innovations don’t work, the Great Leader protects the team members that he has the privilege of leading by accepting responsibility for the actions, both good and bad, of the team.

Which person are you? Are you Manager Adam who does not trust his team; or, Great Leader Ben who demonstrates the faith and trust that he has in the team on a daily basis? Click the “COMMENT” button and tell how you show that you truly trust the team that you lead.

Tom Hoisington is a speaker, trainer, and author whose goal is to provide leaders and potential leaders with tools that empower them to build teams that are creative and cost effective along with a clearer understanding of how personality types interact within those teams. He can be contacted at

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