TRUST – The Foundation of Every Great Team

Posted by jprochera on October 29th, 2013

GILD Palm Desert California

I just returned from a week in Palm Desert for my second year on faculty as an executive coach at the Global Institute for Leadership Development.

Participating as a coach with GILD is a highlight of my year as it gives me the opportunity to do what I love in support of global executives from some of the top companies on the planet and I get to do it alongside of the world’s top leadership experts. (Not familiar with GILD? you can get the flavor of it here .)

The Institute immerses the leaders in a learning experience that has them engaged, empowered, on top of their game and ready to make an impact back in their organizations. It is a coach’s dream come true and it is a joy for me to participate.

In addition to presentations from Marshall Goldsmith, Gary Hamel, Bill Strickland and Nando Parrado (one of the sixteen Uruguayan survivors of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, that the movie Alive is based on) I particularly enjoyed the session with Patrick Lencioni, Author of “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” and “The Advantage”.

My good friend Mitch Simon was so kind as to record some of the key points of Patrick’s presentation and I wanted to share them with you today.

You will see in the chart below (designed to be read from bottom to top) that Patrick identifies a foundation of trust as the core of an effective team. Without trust, the commitment and accountability needed to produce results is just not there.  The more leaders who learn how to generate and foster trust in their businesses, the better it is for results and the healthier it is for the individuals on the team.  My kind of Win-Win!

Continue reading and see where your actions as a leader are facilitating a high-functioning team and where there is room to grow.

Patrick Lencioni – “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”

Below are highlights from Patrick Lencioni’s discussion on the actions of a leader.

The actions of the leader who is committed to creating high-functioning teams are:

– Focus on Collective Outcomes

– Confront Difficult Issues

– Force Clarity and Closure

– Mine for Conflict

– Go First! (in developing trust through vulnerability)

 Please read the following chart from bottom to top.


RESULTS – Focus on   Collective Outcomes

(Finish Here)

 -Leaders make sure that the focus of the team’s conversations are on the results, not individual status, individual tasks, individual salaries, individual perks.

-Leaders make sure that each member holds him or herself responsible for the team’s results.

-Leaders make sure that everyone on the team recognizes that the highest level team you are on is YOUR NUMBER ONE TEAM – without you making your top team number one, the people one level below who are left to fight bloody battles.


Accountability –   Confront Difficult Issues


 -Team Leaders hold others accountable – If leaders won’t hold people accountable, team members wont either.

 -Team Leaders develop and teach their team members to have courage through teaching them to be accountable to each other.

 -Technical term for leaders who won’t hold people accountable – “WUSS”

 -Team leaders hold people accountable for their behaviors.

 -We have to have the courage to hold people accountable for their behaviors.

 -There are leaders who will wait to see negative behaviors impact their bottom line until they address negative behaviors, and sometimes they won’t even address it then.

 -Leaders have to have the courage to hold people accountable for negative behavior (behaviors lead to results).  Too many Leaders avoid discomfort. They will sacrifice results, relationships and their own health, rather than have the   uncomfortable conversations.

-If you don’t hold people accountable for their actions it leads to inattention to results.

Commitment – Force   Clarity and Closure


 -When people don’t have conflict – instead people will passively commit, and you will not know where they stand.

 -We have to get conflict out on the table early.

 -Leaders encourage their team members to disagree, and then get their team members to commit.

 -If you can’t get people to disagree and commit, you can’t expect people to ever be accountable for their actions, and especially to hold each other on the team accountable.

Conflict – Mine for   Conflict


 -Leaders promote ideological conflict.

 -People are not holding back their opinions – they can weigh in and disagree.

 -Most companies have far too little conflict.

 -When we fail to disagree on issues it will lead to destroying people.

 -Our job is not to be nice but to be kind and honest when we disagree.

 -Great relationships are built on disagreements.

 -If we have meetings that are boring without drama, we are leaving good ideas on the table.

 -When we fail to engage in conflict – we then have lack of commitment.

 -If people do not weigh in on a decision, they don’t buy in on decisions.

 -Without conflict, we can’t get commitment – without weighing in, we can’t get buy-in.

Trust – Go First!

(Start Here)

-Trust –   Leaders get naked, they share who they are, they share their strengths and weaknesses, they share their mistakes, they are vulnerable.  They are authentic and genuine.

-vulnerability is the greatest move they can make in creating an effective team.

-Leaders go first – That’s why leaders get paid the medium sized bucks ;-).

-If the leader won’t do it, no one else will.

-If you are not vulnerable, no one else will ever push back.

-Many analyst pin problems on profits to bad  products.

-Bad products are downstream – the root of the majority of “business problems” is there was no trust – nobody trusted each other.

-Companies generally fail with issues with trust, ego, EQ.

-Great leaders say “these are my weaknesses,  you can call me out on this.  I am   completely comfortable, knowing who I am”.

– You can’t trust people who won’t be human.

 -The best leaders are those who show you – “I know I have some issues” – It is those who we will follow through a wall of  fire.

 -Vulnerability is the single best thing we can look for in a leader.

-Vulnerability is an opening for trust.

 -Without trust on the team, you can never expect there to be conversations where people share their true opinions.


To learn about how Professional Coaching has impacted the careers and businesses of Coach Joelle Inc.’s clients, read more in our Success Stories section.  

To explore how coaching can make a difference for you and your company, request a consultation by email at or call 360 378 0088.

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