January 25, 2018 | Trust And Your Teams

“Even I, as well as my brothers and my servants, have been lending them money and grain. Please, let us stop charging this interest.”
[Nehemiah 5:10 HCSB]
I recently led a study through the trustworthiness of Nehemiah, examining how God used that reliability to change the world. Two businessmen I respect sent excellent applications of that principle to the workplace.
Dale Young shared:
Your sermon on Nehemiah as trustworthy really resonated with me. In his popular work The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni identifies 5 things that make teams dysfunctional. He arranges them in a pyramid, because each higher one “stacks” on the lower one. And what is the most basic, foundational reason a team is dysfunctional? You guessed it: “Absence of Trust.” As humans, we don’t cooperate or get help with our weaknesses when trust is not present.
I totally agree with you that when Nehemiah admitted “I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let us stop charging interest!” (Neh. 5:10) that he was very likely admitting that he had previously charged interest himself as well. This shows vulnerability as a leader; and when the leader does it, it builds trust on the team. Nehemiah is leading by example and setting a foundation of trust. We must do the same in all our teams. Here is a copy of Lencioni’s chart…
Ben Quezada wrote this note: “Wayne, I am sending you an article about how trustworthiness is critical for effective teams at work. It reminded me of Nehemiah’s impact.”
Here’s a quick digest of the great article Ben shared. It’s by Justin Bariso in INC Magazine:
The best companies are made up of great teams. You see, even a company full of A-players won’t succeed if those individuals don’t have the ability to work well together. That’s why not too long ago, Google set out on a quest to figure out what makes a team successful. They code-named the study Project Aristotle, a tribute to the philosopher’s famous quote “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Bariso then goes into some details about how they defined effectiveness and what they measured. Here is the bottom line:
So, what did they find? The researchers found that what really mattered was less about who is on the team, and more about how the team worked together. What matters most is trust.
– Justin Bariso, “This Single Quality Contributes Most to Team Success”
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have some sad news. If you research Project Aristotle as I did, you’ll be sad to learn that Google misses the most critical aspect – that for trust to develop one needs trustworthy people.
Don’t you miss it! Trust cannot flourish without trustworthy people. Those who are trustworthy help build effective teams.