General McChrystal's leadership message: Listen, learn … then lead.

There’s a new cumulative pressure on leaders today. Improvements in technology, education, and tactics has produced an inversion of expertise forcing leaders to be more transparent, more willing to listen, and more willing to be reverse-mentored from lower levels.

General McChrystal came to believe that, “a leader isn’t good because they’re right; they’re good because they’re willing to learn and trust.”

Watch and listen to General Stanley McChrystal’s powerful message about listening, learning and leading.

Speaking Up!


Photo by Tim Olk

Photo by Tim Olk

Leaders should build teams with people who have a proven willingness to speak their mind.

I love this quote from the latest On Leadership at the Washington Post: “If you have a yes-man working for you, one of you is redundant” (Avis CEO Barry Rand).

Decision making for organizations operating in complex and chaotic conditions emphasizes the importance of upward communication and dissenting opinions to arrive at sound strategic solutions. Most times the unwillingness to speak up is to blame for a failed objective; sometimes those failed objectives cause injury or death. It’s easy to believe we are leaders when everyone around us agrees with everything we say. Because a diverse set of opinions, and sometimes disagreement, are crucial for good decision making, we need strong leaders and followers who are willing to speak up, and then we need to listen to them.

How do we build teams with open communication lines in all directions? I’ll bet TRUST would help.

Read Saying no to ‘yes-men from’ On Leadership here.

More thoughts on TRUST

“Trust is something that has to be earned. It is something we are all told to give away slowly and take back quickly.”         ~From Dr. Jeremy Statton’s post at Michael Hyatt’s Intentional Leadership.

Statton offers 6 ways leaders can build trust:

  1. Expose yourself.
  2. Take the hit.
  3. Build your team members up.
  4. Get rid of the leash.
  5. Accept confrontation.
  6. Find the value in each person.

Read Statton’s post on trust here….

Build a Relationship and Trust Will Come

Photo by Tim Olk

Photo by Tim Olk

Trust. You know when you have it, and you know when you don’t. How do we define trust in a team or an organization? How do we build it, and then maintain it? Trust is more important today because of the rapidly changing and challenging world we live in.

Trust creates opportunity. It promotes effective communication, increases motivation, and creates synergy (1+1>2) in teams and organizations that lead to safer and more effective actions. Everything is easier when teams and organizations have trust.

Real trust allows for a state of readiness in teams and organizations because members experience a sense of safety and confidence in each other. Do you have trust on your team, in your organization? If yes, how can you strengthen and maintain it? If not, how do you build it?

Build a relationship first, and trust will come.

Of Related Interest:

Relationship Before Opportunity. Dan Rockwell, The Leadership Freak
How to Build (or Rebuild) Trust. Michael Hyatt, Intentional Leadership