It’s not unusual for me to get called in by CEOs to work with their executive teams. They want me to raise their performance, help them work better together. Often they will tell me that trust is a key issue, or competition.
What I have learned from years of working with teams is that the biggest key to enhancing group performance is having a target that is bold enough in impact to rally the spirit. Outstanding executive teamwork comes as the result of a grand challenge. Grand challenges lift the gaze from the details of day-to-day management and focus it on high goals that require leadership, collective effort and the kind of Herculean effort that requires support and the combined effort of everyone involved.
The best way to establish trust is to have something compelling that requires trust to be achieved. This draws out the best people have to offer in order to provide the guidance and example that creates superior results. It becomes clear that no one person can do all that is necessary and leaders will pull people together out of desire and necessity. It calls on people to go beyond giving their all, addressing the formidable by generating the kind of massive response that can only happen when everyone pulls together.
Often a lack of trust implies a similar lack of arousing vision. That is why the anecdote to mediocre performance is often great vision accompanied by bold, far-reaching, and consequential leadership.
Where can you lift your sights for greater results of those who follow you?