TRUST – You Don’t have to Know Everything


For many leaders (and parents) it's hard to let go. Many times we hang on to things, or micro-manage situations where we ultimately destroy the trust we're trying to build with the people we're trying to lead.

The practical solution to our apparent phobia is to come to grips with the fact that we don't have to know everything (or the solution doesn't always have to be our way). We can set boundaries, we can delegate and we can follow up, but we don't have to "do" it and we don't have to manage (as opposed to leading) every step.

Here are two things to think about:

First, If you have to know the answer to every "why" and figure everything out, you'll never have contentment and satisfaction. The job may get done the way you wanted, but ultimately you'll never feel contented or satisfied because many times, you can't always know "why" or know every detail. You'll just frustrate your employees (your kids), and your self trying to discover things that you don't need to know in a trusting relationship.

Second, trust requires having some unanswered questions. If you know or control every detail, there's no need for trust. You might as well just be honest with yourself and your employees and do it all. Or, buy some robots that do everything just as you do it. Trust means letting go and not knowing everything. Trust also means you can spend your time on matters that are important to the business outside of what you've delegated. Thinking, creating, visioning and planning are important as well as the details. You should stop micro-managing, trust and focus on what the business will be like in five years.

To not know everything takes discernment. You as the leader need to discern what you need to know and what you can let pass (and ultimately trust). I use a "not-do" list. It's regularly updated and reflects things that I trust other people to do – completely.

There's freedom not knowing everything. Enjoy the freedom, lead from your values, your mission and your strengths, not from having to know and do every detail.


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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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