We just did a gig with our choir and more than 30 of us went out for breakfast together afterwards. Do you recall these moments of eating out with a big group and getting the bill?
Depending on what your thoughts were just now as I asked the question, that’s the level of trust you have in those groups you’ve been in. For some, the first thought would have been: oh yes, here we go, there’s always an amount missing and the ones left to count up end up paying the gap.
OR you think: yes, isn’t it nice being with people where you KNOW there will always be enough, everyone would have paid their part and those able to have added a bit to cover any unforeseen miscalculations and make sure there’s enough for tips.
The last version is true for this group: lots of people stayed around to check that it’s all good, everyone expects it will be fine and of course it was – with plenty of tips to the great team of waiters.
Think of your current team. Would you be expecting to be the one covering the gap? Do you immediately think of specific people within the team who may not deliver on their part? And here, of course, I’m not talking about splitting dinner bills, I’m referring to the work done in the team. Who is always ready to chip in, give a bit extra, stay back to check all deliverables are done and ask if someone in the team needs a hand to finish their part before the deadline?
And if you right now start bringing external excuses to the table (or ‘reasons’ as we adults call them) of why your team is not there yet – that’s still your full responsibility to change.
It shows a lot about the performance of the team and the culture created, whether you can trust the team. And the best result is when you know the team will figure it out, step up to the plate when needed, cover gaps in collaboration WITHOUT you having to be involved as the leader or business owner.
Your job as a leader is to create teams of trust and delivery. From the hiring over the accountability and delivery to the celebration of wins. It’s not your job to ‘pay the gap’ every time or step in to make things happen. Then you’re still managing the team, not yet leading.
Do you trust your team? The answer shows how good a job you’ve done as a leader making the right decisions in creating and indeed leading that team to high performance.