Leadership, Trust, and Communication are inseparably connected in a continuous catch-22: one cannot go without the other. Together they are the essential cornerstones for successful collaboration; we need all three of them.
In most organizations, the days of controlled, hierarchical leadership are over. As Peter Drucker already wrote in his work “Management Challenges for the 21st Century” *: “Organizations are no longer built on force. Increasingly they are built on trust. Trust does not mean that people like you. It means that you can rely on one another.”
As a leader, you will gain trust by behaving trustworthy and by actively and effectively communicating with your team. Misunderstandings and hiding of information will tear down trust.
Hiding relevant information will sooner or later become apparent anyway. Your team members or your partners will start to wonder why you did not share this relevant piece of information earlier. They might have their doubts about your intentions and worst case doubt if they can still trust you or if you still trust them.
Openness and transparency are essential for trust building: sharing relevant information in an open and transparent way will prevent any doubt and will encourage your counterpart, or your team, to do the same.
Communication goes further than just sharing information. Good communication will prevent misunderstandings. Timely, to the point communication with the right checks to determine if your communication has been received as intended, is the most effective.
When you lead by example, your crystal clear way of communicating will become the standard for your team. A standard that encourages trust, both inside and outside the team. A standard that will show off to stakeholders and partners as well. A standard that shows that your team is a pleasure to work with. A standard that will enable your team to be a magnet, attracting future partners and work to your team.
Leadership, Trust, and Communication are essential, not just for internal teams, but equally across organizational boundaries and in alliances and partnerships. Here these three inseparably connected elements face a different dimension as they are challenged by the additional dynamics that different organizations bring. Outside, your team Leadership, Trust, and Communication become even more important and ask for your diligent attention.