Last week we talked about Magic Johson’s seemingly out-of-nowhere resignation as president of the Lakers (which seemed to strike a cord)…but we hinted that there was more to it. A month after his departure, Magic explained in an interview that many things built over time, compounding and building a case for a lack of trust and security in his role, leading to his very public and shocking exit. While we don’t want to enter the great debate with sports fans over the rights/wrongs in this situation, we do want to make a connection to the parallels you may be seeing in your organization.

Let’s look at a more relatable scenario. A client we know recently left A LOT to create an exciting new partnership across the country. He left a leadership role with an amazing company, team, community of friends, family and home, in the hopes of realizing a dream of creating something of their own. The upside was great, but so was the risk. Just six months later, the dream crashed and burned as he walked away from that new chapter. The dream still had legs, but the partnership didn’t. A series of small things, gaining momentum over time, led to a complete trust breakdown. A breakdown so big, it didn’t hold up against all that was promised, created, and imagined.

In both of these situations, it was the compound effect of the inconsistencies in the overall behavior of leadership, lack of support, unpredictability, and dishonesty that snowballed into the perfect storm. These not-so-obvious things became too big to ignore, and walking away became the only option.

What a depressing outcome. And such an unnecessary one. Leaders, I don’t think we see the impact we’re creating with these inconsistencies. And then we’re shocked by the aftermath. If you aren’t thinking about the subject of trust, where you have it and where you don’t , you may need to brace yourself for some surprises. And we don’t want you to have to go through what’s coming.

We wrote a series on this big idea of TRUST, delving into why it matters so much, how it gets broken/weakened, and some things to do to repair it. In case you missed it, take a look. A trust issue is not a people issue…it’s a trust issue. And sometimes, it’s a “you” issue. The good news, is that you can actually do something about it.

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