Flying Trapeze Artist: Ever want to be one? A friend of mine went for an afternoon “experience” lesson for novices. Each participant was given detailed instructions and then climbed very high up on a ladder. There was a safety net below but no safety harness. If you slipped, you landed in the net.
“Trust” was the No. 1 instruction my friend remembered. “Release your fears. Let go completely,” were the follow-up phrases. A tentative hand clasp, a half-hearted letting go of the bar: these are the elements that lead to falls or at the least an awkward performance. The smoothest, most graceful routines occurred when there was deep trust: when the participant committed fully.
Life (and business) is a lot like that. The best team performances occur when there is deep trust, when every member of the team is a true professional, fully committed, dedicated to an aligned outcome.
Deep trust is not blind or naive trust. We remain aware that we are all human, that process can break down, and that back up plans (safety nets) should exist. “Trust but verify” remains a valid concept. At the same time full commitment remains a necessity for high-level performance and superb outcomes. Lukewarm effort doesn’t win gold medals or scale mighty peaks. To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice not only your gift but your team as well.