How do effective leaders build trust? I am so pumped for this video because in it, I am going to share one of my absolute favorite stories from working with a client about a wonderful human being named Corey. And I’m also going to in invite virtually, have invited guest star Travis Marsh who is the author of a book called Lead Together. He’s going to come in for 2 quick 30 second clips and drop some wisdom on us in this video. If you’re new to the channel, welcome.

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I’m Chad. And I create these videos specifically for busy leaders and educators who want to make connection, engagement, easy and amplify connection belong and trust in their own spheres.. And just need some quick practical tangible ideas tips, stories, to help them do that. No more  fluff, let’s get into it. 2 ideas, we’re going to unpack here in a very concrete-example-driven format. Travis is going to share an example about the power of curating curiosity. And then I’ll follow up with one of my absolute favorite stories from working with a client  and the value as a leader in rewarding risk. And how much trust that can build. You might notice, if you watch any of my other videos that I am in an odd angle. I’m actually in front of the scenes or I guess behind the scenes.

You might recognize from all my other videos, the world map  that’s hung upside down. And I wanted to record infront of the studio and I didn’t even clean up my desk actually. There’s… If you focus in, hot  mess back here. And the reason I wanted to film here was there’s something really trust building about sharing as a leader, being vulnerable and sharing a little bit of the behind the scenes or sharing what’s going on. You know, one of the best tips I ever received, leadership tips I ever received was the phrase, “My current best thinking is…” , right? And I love that because it’s it doesn’t say as a leader, “I have to have all the answers. I’m perfect all the time. I’m right.” It just says, “I’m a person. And from all the data, I was able to soak in my current best thinking is…” Such a useful phrase to take with you. I don’t want to say anything else. I want to invite Travis in here to share a little bit about… I love the way that he frames um shifting from compliance here. Travis is one of the author, co-authors of a newly launched book called Lead Together.

If you’re a reader, feel free to check it out Travis’s work is fantastic helping leaders  pave a path to success. He’s written the book with 2 other people. And without further ado, I am going to freeze and let Travis speak for himself before I say anything else. See you in one minute. -This illustrates a key thing that people often think about when they’re talking about trust. They’re often talking about “Can somebody comply with what I ask them for?” And what I’d like to switch that to is to think about it through the lens of engagement. Are they engaged in the  same thing I’m trying to get them to? -Isn’t that lovely, right? As leaders, sometimes we think it’s trusting to have some level of authority. That people can trust us. And yet, when we shift from compliance to engagement, something really powerful changes. In Travis’s next little thought, you’re going to hear about how to actually create that engagement and trust.

One more time, we will just freeze me right in my chat. -A much better way of looking  at that is to bring a little bit of curiosity to the table instead of the directive on like,  “This is why it’s useful.” I proposed that to the CEO and said, “Is there anything that you could get curious about?” And so then we were in that sales meeting, like immediately following.

And I could see him actually start to extol the virtues and values on the CRM. And then he stopped and he paused and yeah, I could see like the the light click on for him. And he just asked. He’s like, “What are the biggest priorities that you see in sales right now?” And that little question  opened up a whole box of useful information. -Travis, first of all, thanks for virtually coming in. I can’t wait to dive in to lead together when it is in my hands. I’m going to offer a visual to your last clip there which is this idea, this question: “What are you curious about right now?” This question is such a gift to carry with you as a leader and ask on repeat. I want to share one of  my favorite client stories where a leader could have made some very harsh decisions but chose to be a little bit more curious and specifically did one of the most profound things to elevate trust which is to reward risk. I was facilitating an off-site retreat for this company. I’m sharing  this with permission. The company is named redemption plus. And they are… One of the companies that like if you go to an arcade and there’s all the stuff, all the prizes you can win,  redemption plus supplies arcades with all this stuff. And I was at the retreat and there was an employee. His name is Corey and he got up to share this story, it’s the first time he had  shared this story with the company. And the first time that he’d share this story with the CEO, ron.

Corey gets up and starts sharing this story. And I guess years and years before this, Corey was working in the warehouse and he was packing a box to send off to a customer. And there was an empty space, right? You know, in the in this business, you want to pack the box as full as it  can be with stuff that the arcades and redemption centers are going to want, right? Cool prizes. And there’s this empty space. And he wasn’t sure quite how to fill it. But it fit this perfect… There  was a toy on the shelf in the warehouse called  Gabriel The Guardian Angel. He was like, “I don’t know what thi is. I don’t know why anybody would want it but it fits perfectly in this spot.” Boom. 

Packs a bunch of boxes like that. They all go off to customers. And all of a sudden, a couple weeks later, customer service starts getting all these calls. “What is this Gabriel the Guardian Angel toy? Like nobody wants this. I don’t want this. 

This is going to just collect dust on our shelves for years. What the heck?” So, you got these angry customer service calls coming in. And Corey gets a ring. From ron. “Hey, Corey. Can you come down to my office?” Now, what is most employees  first thought when your boss calls and tells you to come down to the office? It’s the same that an elementary school kid or a high school kid feels when the principal is calling them down to the office. “Oh, boy. I’m in trouble.” But Corey, as he was sharing this was like, “Ah, no big deal.  I was kind of on the verge of quitting  anyway. Maybe this is just my easy out.”  He gets into the office and Ron looks at him dead in the eyes and he goes, “Cory, I just brought you in here to say thanks. Thanks for taking a risk and taking the initiative to  pack a box and make a decision for yourself rather than asking for every little thing. I love that  initiative and I really value you. That’s it.”

The coolest part about the story is that Corey was telling the story years later. On the day that he was thinking about quitting and were happy that he was about to get fired, he was telling the story years later. He had been promoted several times. Was now on the leadership team. Talk about building trust in an organization, when ron looks at him and rewards risk in that way, if you reward your employees for risks, for mistakes they actually made; you will increase trust potentially years worth of trust in a very, very small moment.  

My hope is after this video you’ve got the inspiration you need to be curious as a leader and spark that trust and reward risk. If you take these two ideas and start to implement them even in small ways in your organization, you will see trust and psychological safety start to go up.  People love to feel, heard, seen, and at least like you’re trying to understand them. And they like to feel appreciated for their best effort rather than punished for any mistakes that they made. If you like this, you’ll love our other videos here and here.

I’m Chad Littlefield. This was lovely hanging out in cyberspace. Have an awesome trusting day.


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