You will fail every single time without this.

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We can draw up the best plans in the world. The x’s and o’s can be in the perfect position. We can think of ways to proactively avoid traps and snares in almost any situation, save a natural disaster. And we can even plan for those. Yet, unless we have this, we’ll fail every time.

As leaders we’re called to develop plans, put together teams, align them around goals and execute. Good leaders take the time to follow-up and ensure that what they expect is actually happening. But there’s one crucial ingredient that even good leaders sometimes forget because they get wrapped up in the details.

It all comes down to trust.

If they don’t trust you, all is lost.  

In order to build trust, it comes down to the essence of humanity.  Relationships.  We were designed to live in community and as long as we adhere to the idea of “people first”, we will be able to build lasting relationships.

When you put others interests before your own, people can tell.  They naturally gravitate towards these people.  It’s been said that some of the greatest conversationalist barely speak.  They are so busy tuning into the other person’s needs, wants and desires.

When you place the well-being of others in front of your own, people will see you as a person without personal agendas.  When teams solve problems, everyone respects a leader who takes the best choice from the team over their own decision.  Especially when that leader has the final say.

Listening is huge.  Not only does it allow you to learn about others, it places value on their ideas and beliefs.  It will also empower them to come up with more ideas and potentially become a leader themselves.

Begin listening to others today, in times where you would have normally spoken up.  See what happens…  Focus on building relationships where folks trust what you are saying and doing.  Let them see you as a leader whose motives are to help the team succeed, rather than yourself.

Build trust on this foundation, then draw up the plan for your team.  They will believe in it because they believe in you.