Trust ultimately is a function of people doing the right things. We place trust in people that do the right things. Accountability determines what people will do. If we reward people for something, they’ll do more of it. If we punish people for something, they’ll do less of it.
If we are accountable for determining what people are accountable for, then we ultimately control whether or not we will trust them.
When trust is low, if we hold people accountable to the wrong things, we’ll forever micromanage them. If trust is high and we hold people accountable to the wrong things, our trust is misplaced. In both situations, success will be a matter of luck. And, I think it’s fair to say we’ll get more of the wrong thing than the right thing.
When trust is low, if we hold people accountable to the right things, trust will grow as people do more and more of the right things. When trust is high and we hold people accountable to the right things, we demonstrate leadership. We lead by holding people accountable to the right things and we don’t get in their way, we don’t control how they do things. In both of these situations, success will largely be a function of talent. In fact, the right thing had better be how we define success.