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5 Ways Leaders Unintentionally Undermine Trust

5. Don’t allow people to fail.

Some leaders can’t be with failure. They hate failure. They’ll do anything to avoid failure.

One effect of this is they can’t let other people fail either. So they’ll give team members authority over a project only to step in at the last moment and “rescue” them if they fear the project might fail.

But failure is an essential part of all creative work. It’s also an essential part of all effective leadership development.

If you can’t let people fail, you can’t develop them as leaders. And if you give people authority only to yank it back when failure threatens, you convey to your team that you don’t actually trust them to do the job, and that the project is more important to you than they are.

Simple solution: Believe in your people. Let them stretch. Let them fail. Don’t rescue. Then capture the learning to do it better next time. (Also, when the failure happens, notice that the world did not, in fact, slip off its axis.)