Building High-Trust: you go first

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“Lead from the front.” 

“You go first.” 

“Set the example.” 

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

So you want to be a High-Trust Leader? And you want to develop a high-trust culture in order to truly achieve the exceptional results with a high performance organization?

Well, then… you have to go first.

As the flight leader of the Blue Angels, I realized the team would never have a great day if I didn’t have a great day. Similarly, your team will never achieve high-trust if you don’t lead the way and embody the change, the values, and the behavior you desire.


It’s as simple — and hard — as that.

  1. CHARACTER: Eliminate the hypocrisy between your words/values/intentions and actions.
  2. COMMITMENT: Be clear about your purpose and respond every day with resolve to show you are dedicated to achieving long-term goals and not derailed by short-term temptations and crises.
  3. COMPETENCE: Demonstrate a learner’s mindset to develop new skills that enhance your performance. This will require delegating some of the comfortable stuff you like doing in order to free-up time and energy for the struggle to learn new, relevant skills (and will allow the folks you delegated-to to grow).
  4. CONNECTION: If you want them to understand you, you have to take the time to understand them. They won’t truly listen to what you think until they believe you understand and care about them.
  5. COMMUNICATION: Leading by example is the most powerful form of communication. Turn down the emphasis on words and let your actions shout loud and clear.

If you want them to change, you have to change first.

Show them the way with your personal example. It is the only way that lasts. Anything else is a mirage.

Be a High-Trust Leader: go first.

P.S. They will give you credit and forgive missteps if they see you are genuinely trying to change and don’t give up.

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