Archives For trust

You Can’t Rush Trust

March 29, 2014 — 9 Comments

Four years ago, I engaged in a relationship with a new client that held incredible promise. I completed a full insurance proposal to address additional insurance needs and presented the options for diversifying his accounts. If we were able to place these policies, it would represent the largest single transaction in my 10-year history. As I made the presentation, everything went perfectly and the options looked great.

The client didn’t take any of them.

Not a reduced option. Not a different option. None.

For a long time, I thought my efforts had been a huge waste of time.

Still, I maintained a relationship with the client and continued to help them with other, albeit smaller services. About two years later, I got a promising call.

“Matt, can you look into this for us again?”

Star Wars, being the veritable mine of awesomeness that it is, teaches a variety of lessons. Yoda teaches about determination and focus (“Do or do not; there is no try”). Vader proves that it’s never too late to be redeemed and forgiven. Han Solo shows that even if the odds are against your success (or survival), you can still make it work.

Darth Vader looking scary

Image via Pascal

Though you can derive many life lessons from this classic, there are also a few things Star Wars can teach us about business and some common mistakes to avoid.

1. Rule by Fear
The biggest leadership mistake Vader makes is punishment by force choke. He first uses it in the infamous “I find your lack of faith disturbing” scene, for someone who merely expresses an opinion he disagrees with. This act inspires fear in those he commands. Later on, he ends up killing a different admiral for making a simple mistake just before a significant battle with the Rebel Alliance. Between both of these situations, those under him are ruled by fear, knowing what will happen should they go against him or mess up.

Trust is essential for any leader. Without trust, you can’t lead anyone willingly.

I started my new job July 29th, 2013. I was nervous, excited, fearful, but most of all, ready for the challenge. I was scared because it’s something new. Anxiety and worries follow fear with any new endeavor. The combination of fear, anxiety, worries is a great recipe for mistakes and missed opportunities at a new job.

Trust standing at the edge

Image via NASA

What kills my fears, worries, and anxiety about a new job is my solid plan. I have a “money-back guarantee” strategy that will not fail. This strategy is based on the wisdom I’ve gathered in my career, excellent books like 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and How to Win Friends and Influence People.

There’s nothing more valuable when you’re leading than establishing credibility. Credibility is establishing trust and being believable. Can you see why a leader needs to establish credibility to lead well?

There was once a time when a man’s handshake was his contract. It seems those days are long gone.

Yet you can help bring back those days. You can be a man, or woman, who has credibility.

Credibility is vital in leadership. It’s hard to gain and easy to lose. This is why great leaders are constantly building their credibility.

How are they doing this, you ask? They take the hard road and credible leaders make sure they’re upholding their own standards.

Here’s what else you can do to establish credibility:

Follow through with your promises: Great leaders build their credibility by keeping their word. When they say they’re going to do it, they do it. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Their word is their bond.

How To Build A Great Team

December 17, 2012 — 25 Comments

Our society often promotes the idea of The Lone Ranger as the ideal.

Being self-sufficient is key, we hear. But it’s a lie.

Boat Rope

Image by Moyan Brenn

The ideal should be to work in a great team. And that requires teamwork.

What Is Teamwork?

Teamwork is the combined effort of a group of people working together towards a common goal.

When we begin to combine our efforts and work with others, our output is multiplied. Creative ideas that were blocked by a lack of vision are released when shared with others.

Before you know it the team is knocking out new ideas and increasing productivity.

“Great teams never depend on individual creativity and thinking.”
– Andy Stanley

How To Build A Great Team

To build a great team, you’ve got to find people who are willing to work together. Those that know that a great team requires more than just an individual.