Screw "Trust Is Earned": Building A Team With Blind Trust

Hey everybody. I know this isn’t typically my style, but I felt compelled to write a short blog tonight in response to something thought provoking. Rather than curating this content, this is going to be a quick hitter where I share my thoughts in one fell swoop. Here goes....

Recently, scrolling through LinkedIn in a moment of boredom, I came across a video short of Gary Vaynerchuck that simply put, struck me as pure gold.  Now, you may not know this about me, but in general I find the energetic Gary V to be brash, entitled, contrived, and quite honestly the biggest humble brag expert on the planet.  However, I respect the man. He knows how to make a splash and how to market in a scene of constantly revolving platforms and players.

The latest video caught my attention as one of the most honest conversations I personally have seen on screen. To the credit of the interviewer, the questions asked were on point.  

Let me sum up the meaning of the video.

“Trust is Earned” is bs.  The best leaders put blind trust in to their team members...from day one.  

Bingo!  As a leader of my team, I wholeheartedly believe in this leadership strategy.  For me, it’s natural, so calling it a strategy feels a bit off putting. From the first moment I meet a team member, I do something radical. I 100% believe in their abilities, work ethic, and drive to perform.  It’s that simple. You don’t earn trust with me, you lose it.

Why do I believe this works?

Trust is empowering.

Trust builds relationships.

Trust breeds accountability.

Trust goes both ways.

From the moment a new member walks in the door, I truly believe they are going to be an excellent employee.  I will work with them every day to build their skills as long as they match my enthusiasm and effort. I will reward them with positive praise, more challenging projects, and if all goes well additional forms of compensation.  

As an employee, this is incredibly empowering. Now, let’s be totally real. People will take advantage of this.  They will waste time, lack effort, and flat out stink at their job day in and day out for many reasons. That’s fine.  Let them. As the failures pile up, the trust recedes until that team member is doing the least critical tasks, with the least amount of praise and compensation.  Let them find their way out and bring in a new allstar to mold.

If you want strong relationships with your team members, give them everything you have from the start.  Let them rise to the challenge and surprise themselves. Let them stumble and get up. Let them fail and rise. If you’re standing there to help them up, get them started again and believing in them, you’ll become the leader they need and they will want to avoid disappointing you.

When you have this, you have succeeded.  Your team will only ever be as good as your members. When they trust you to trust in them, they will always go to battle for you. You may not always win, but you will find success along the way.