Two big words, vastly discussed. Both carry their own weight as concepts but become more heavy as we add our own meanings to them. As a concept, each one of them represents a value system we use to determine how important we are to a given person or group, or how important someone is to us, but how does this work for you when you lead, when you are responsible for a team?
It depends. It really does, and it has to do with one fact that makes both concepts critical to your success as a leader: you have to give them first, and give them wisely before they come back to you.
Trust before Trust
As a Leader, people will follow you only after they trust you and the mission you set for them but how can they trust that it’s real before you show them how to do it? To show trust means to expose yourself. It means that you open up enough for people to get in and see for themselves who you are and what you want of them.As a Leader, there is no better attribute than Trust, and no better crown for it than Transparency. The key is to do it first. Open up to those you lead, open up to those you follow and show them where sharing that Trust can take them.
Giving trust should always be easier than gaining it, or to put it another way: you should work to gain someone’s trust but if you want them to follow you should always be ready to give it first. Trust to be trusted.
Names before Titles
Recognition is a tad trickier: even if you recognize others, you might not be recognized yet it is as critical to success as Trust is. People like being trusted and having someone to trust on, but that acts on more of a private level. Trust is built from within while recognition is not necessarily. Trust can be shown in a number of ways, some very explicit and some not yet Recognition is all about explicit. It has to be: how can you recognize someone’s worth or their true value if you don’t say or show it?
Over-achievements such as reaching a milestone or getting results off the charts becomes the most evident way of recognizing someone’s value and that is kind of the trap everyone falls on: it’s so much more than that. It is also acknowledging when someone’s giving you an extra mile without being asked to, or when they are taking care of things nobody else is, or even when they are humble enough not to want to show off and you know they should, at least a little bit.
Trust and Recognition. Two big words and two different concepts and yet cornerstones of every team. Trust and you’ll be trusted. Recognize them and you will be recognized.
Avoid one or both…and see what happens.
Also published on Medium.