How can leaders create an environment of trust where teams have the agency to make decisions? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Trust is a two-way street and has to be earned between both parties. Leaders can create trust by first being part of the teams taking responsibility for failures and sharing success with the teams. In the early stages of a company, it is important that leaders are very much in the thick of things during the hard phases. Example - if you see your team staying late while working on things, make an effort to be with them. If you cannot directly contribute to solving their problems support in their endeavors. A few other considerations:

  • Trust is also about accepting failures. When you are ambitious, you want your team to work on hard problems. A lot of AI is like that - there are no clear certainties of success. Leaders need to understand this and internalize it very well. Part of this is building a culture of accepting failures - reward success, but don't punish failures. Encourage the team to take the bets, knowing that failure is an option.
  • Provide a clear path for success and growth. Work diligently with the team to give them an idea of what success of their work would look like. Work with them towards this goal. Leaders have to be mentors, but also learn to have the team members accountable.
  • Talent costs money, and be willing to pay for it. I have seen founders and CEOs make bad offers, trying to undermine the worth of employees - this is never going to work out in the long run. How you treat your hires during your hiring process will make the difference.

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Published on: Sep 13, 2019