Producing Results Blog

Are You Lying About Trusting Your Team?

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Do you trust your team? I don’t mean “trust” in the sense of, “I trust that my team members won’t sell our company secrets to the Russians,” (although that might be kind of important, depending on your line of work). No, I mean “trust” in the sense of, “I trust my team members to do their jobs well.” So, with this sense of “trust” defined, let me ask you the same question—slightly amended:

Do you trust your team—or do you merely say you trust your team?

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I started my TV career in a relatively small town. Lancaster, PA. As a story producer at the local station, I wrote, produced, shot, and edited my own stories. I did it all. That’s the way it works in the small markets. You do everything, and you learn your craft.

A few years later, I moved to a larger market: Portland, OR. A top 25 market. Here, I still wrote and produced my own stories. But someone else shot and edited them. My first story in Portland was shot and edited by a guy named Robert. It must have been a horrible experience for him. I doubled-checked each and every shot. He’d line up the shot, then I’d take a look through the viewfinder and offer my suggestions on how the shot could be improved. In other words, how I would have framed the shot. Same thing in the editing room. I sat right there beside him, offering suggestions on every edit.

Now, I say “offering suggestions.” To Robert, I was “second guessing.”

You may know it as “micromanaging.”

And micromanaging is the antithesis of trust.

Micromanaging is the antithesis of trust. #leadership Click To Tweet

Eventually, I began to realize that Robert, as well as the other shooter/editors, were pretty damn good at their jobs. In fact—and it still pains me to admit this—they were usually better at their jobs than I was at their jobs. So I started to let go. I stopped checking every shot. I stopped sitting in on the edits.

The result was that, quite often, my stories were not shot the exact way that I would have shot them. They were not edited the exact way that I would have edited them. And that was okay. In fact, it was often better. Much better. There were times when Robert, or Mike, or John, would draw things out of my stories that I never knew were there.

Yes, I was still the producer. I still gave them the direction of the story, and where I wanted the story to go. But then I let them surprise me with how they got there.

If you say you trust your team while micromanaging them, then you’re lying.

If you say you trust your team while micromanaging them, then you’re lying. #leadership Click To Tweet

Stop telling them you trust them. Show them you trust them. Give them the destination—and let them give you the route.

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About the Author:

For 15 years, Executive Producer and Hall of Fame speaker Bill Stainton, CSP led his team to more than 100 Emmy Awards and 10 straight years of #1 ratings.Today Bill helps leaders achieve those kinds of results--in THEIR world and with THEIR teams.
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