Everyone knows that cultivating a trusting environment in a team is essential, but as a leader, do you really understand why it is so? In this episode, host John Laurito shares why an overly transparent and honest team and leader contribute to an unbelievable trusting environment. An organization that breeds a culture of respect and trust creates more reliable people who are more engaged and move faster. This type of environment results in a high-performing and successful team.
[0:28] John’s favorite story about trust
[5:16] As a leader, ask this question
[7:04] If taking ownership of a problem is respected, think of what a great team you’ll have
[8:46] What a high level of trust does
John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on a quest to learn everything I can about leadership obsessed with what makes the best leaders so good after running companies small and large for the last 20 years. Today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name’s John Laurito and I’m your host. I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this topic. What makes the best leaders so good? Welcome to tomorrow’s leader!
John All right, welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep on all things leader related related to leading yourself and leading others, I am John Laurito your host with the mostest. So I’m going to start with the story. I’m sure in some part of one podcast, I’ve maybe early on share this story, but it’s very possible. I didn’t. I was just doing a keynote recently in Scottsdale and I told this story and it just it’s one of my favorite examples of trust and I got the great opportunity one time to hear from a Blue Angel pilot. I got a chance to meet them. Blue Angels, if you don’t know they are the the navy’s acrobatic fighter jets that fly in formation and do air shows and everything like that. Absolutely phenomenal. And it’s interesting because the navy’s purpose for the Blue Angels. It’s awesome. And you are awestruck watching these, these planes fly in such tight formation.
John But the purpose of it is to recruit to the Navy. Literally, that’s the purpose of the Blue Angels, but the Blue Angel Pilot gets two years. I think it is that they have to perform and then they have to rotate seats and everything like that. But it’s fascinating when you watch the Blue Angels and you hear the behind the scenes for how they actually prepare to do these incredible formations. Now they’re going 500 miles an hour and they are in such tight formation. It is amazing how they do it. Well, here’s what they do. They they basically prepare by sitting in a room, in a room and they are sitting in seats and they’re arranged in their formation. So the lead pilot is in the front and the others are back. And what they do is they basically visualize their routine.
John They close their eyes. They go through it. The lead pilot is going through and announcing the commands, OK, we’re going to roll left and three two one, and they’re moving their bodies around and everything, and they’re doing the entire routine in their minds and talking through it and everything like that. And then they go up and they actually perform. But what’s interesting is when they are executing this, the they’re again flying 500 miles an hour. Roughly the only pilot that’s looking straight ahead is the lead pilot. Every other pilot is flying 500 miles an hour straight, but looking at the wing of the pilot to his left or his right, and all they’re trying to do is stay within 18 inches, 18 inches of their wing, not 18 feet, 18 inches of their their wing. Think about that. And not only just fly straight, it’s hard enough to fly in straight. But then doing all these crazy extreme maneuvers and keeping it even within those maneuvers within 18 inches. Unbelievable. I’ve got the utmost respect and admiration for these pilots because what an unbelievable level of performance.
John Now think about this. There’s a couple of different lessons in this. One is the preparation that goes into performing at such a high level is intense. It is unbelievably intense now in their situation. It is life or death because if they don’t execute perfect, it’s not that the show looks flawed, it’s that a pilot could die or people on the ground or both. So the need for perfection is so severe and extreme and what a couple of things that happen. That’s really amazing. One is think about the trust level that they have in the other pilots to be able to do that. I mean, think about driving a car 60 70 miles an hour in this direction and relying only on the car to your right and watching where they are. And that’s how your steering is just relative to them. Think about that would be incredibly uncomfortable.
John That would be very unnerving. These pilots are going 500 miles an hour. There’s no room for mistake. So the amount of trust they have to have is unbelievable. And if they don’t have that trust, what happens? I mean, think about that for a second if they don’t have that level of trust. Not only are they not looking at this wing if they glance, not look, if they glance straight ahead, they are, they run the risk of crashing bumping wings. If that happens. People die. It’s not that they don’t execute their mission the right way or they don’t look good. People die. That’s how much trust is how important trust is in this, because they cannot execute this at all without the highest level of trust, which is is putting my life in somebody else’s hands. Think about that. But we think about how this actually happens. One of the things and when you’re thinking about your organization, how do I get that level of trust?
John And why does that level of trust allow such high levels of performance? Well, let me tackle the first one first. How do you do that? One of the things that they breed is this environment of accountability and ownership and absolute transparency and no consequences if we are for being transparent and open and honest about a mistake that was made. So in other words, this pilot was explaining us that I was on a training mission and my eyes stuck too long. We were going underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, which was incredible, upside down inverted. And he said, which think about that upside down on inverted underneath the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco? Wow. He said. My eyes fixated just for a fraction of a second too long on this really beautiful sailboat that was in the water. He said. But what I realized is that could have killed somebody just a fraction of a second going 500 miles an hour inverted under the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge. Very understandable. S.
John O nobody would have known that because nothing happened, of course, but their culture and their reason for such high levels of trust comes from the fact that at the end of that mission, he got the group together and he said, Listen, I need to own up to something. Here’s what I did. This was a big mistake. It could have cost our lives. And here’s what I’m going to do to make sure that doesn’t happen again. I’m aware of it. It was a problem. And I, my fault, took complete ownership to it and was willing to put it out there on the table. That’s what they do, and that helps breed this ultra high level of trust. So think about this if you and your organization can breed that type of environment where not only is that expected, maybe it’s even rewarded. That level of honesty and it’s mutual respect when you take ownership for something a problem, a mistake that you made that nobody even knows about.
John Okay, and that’s how they develop such. That’s one of the ways that they develop such a high level of trust. It’s a mutual respect. It’s the absolute knowledge that if any of them does something, that that is common. Revising the mission and the performance and the safety of the other pilots, they’re going to hear about it. They don’t have to worry about what is it that I don’t know? Think about how much energy is wasted when we try to read between the lines or we try to anticipate what somebody is thinking, or we try to understand the real hidden agenda behind a message or a strategic move that a company makes or something my boss is doing, which spends so much negative energy. And what we create in our mind is anxiety, stress, and it breaks down trust. What I’m trying to understand something and really understand what this person is trying to say that they’re not saying it’s a waste of energy and it just degrades trust. That’s all that happens.
John So the more open, the more authentic I am, the less people have to worry about there being something that’s a hidden message, right? So if I’m a leader of an organization and I am overly or transparent and overly honest and bring up things maybe that they don’t even realize and they never would have known, that’s going to contribute to this unbelievably trusting environment. Here’s what happens when you have that level of trust in an organization people are willing to follow and blindly. In some cases, they’re willing to follow. Because the trust is so high, there’s less thinking on their part of OK, is this really in my best interest or not? People are willing to move faster. They’re willing to execute quicker. They’re willing to execute precisely exactly what the mission is. They have trust in the vision. They have trust in the leader. They have trust in the cause of what you’re doing. That’s what happens. And because of that, people move faster. They’re willing to come up with ideas.
John They’re willing to contribute to the mission. Their brain is released of anxiety. Think about your brain. Is this box its container? The more anxiety and crap I have in here, that’s negative. The less room I have for my brain to think of ideas and have creative juices flowing. I just don’t have the capacity in there to have that. It’s just weighted down with all this negativity. So the more you can release that from your people and your team and your organization and your self, the more your brain is going to be able to operate in a positive way. And that’s where the ideas come out. That’s for just the performance comes from the a focus and willingness to move and run fast in that direction and trust each other that we’re all doing the same thing. It’s not that, Hey, OK, I’m going to run, I’m going to do this, but I’m also making sure this person is doing it to thinking about you and a friend that is standing on a cliff.
John You’re going to do a cliff, jump into the water and it’s 30 feet up. That’s scary. And you and your friend are saying, okay, on the count of three, we’re going to do this one two three. You might be thinking in your head, OK, well, I don’t know. Are they really going to jump when I’m jumping or is it just going to be me taken asleep? And are they going to sit back? And that’s what happens. You’re sitting there waiting, OK, I get it. I’m willing to do it, but I don’t know if that person is going to do it. So I’m going to just wait and sit back and make sure they’re going to do it. Then I’m going to do it. That’s how organizations work, and that’s what slows progress down, right? That’s what slows down when we have to think about and we just don’t trust everybody else. We’re watching too hard and too closely and too much and too long. What other people are doing and we’re just wasting time and wasting energy, and it just saps our creative abilities and our productivity.
John That’s what happens. And ultimately, there’s only so much people can tolerate of that before they say, Hey, you know what? This is unhealthy for me. I need to go to a place where I just have the relief of being in a trusting environment. OK, so this is up to you, leaders. It’s your job. You’re the one that needs to solve for those issues is trust issues come from all different ways and all different types of things and types of people. You’ve got to fix those problems. Otherwise it will be a weight that drags on your organization. And hopefully that’s a good example and some specific action steps you can take to do it. One. It comes from transparency and ownership, without a doubt of issues and problems and whatnot.
John All right. So take it. Run with it. Have fun with it. And as always, like subscribe, share all the kind of good stuff. Give me feedback. Give me ideas. Go down below. Give five star review and hope. You have a great day. Thanks, everybody. Bye. Thanks for joining us and today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader for suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching. Reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Once again, that’s John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on!