To set the scene, at this point I was sitting at the open door of a Cessna Caravan at 3000m strapped to a parachute instructor ready for my first sky dive. Upon reflection, I don’t think he can have been whispering.
The experience was utterly extraordinary and I can understand the draw to go straight back up and do it again.
When I got back down to earth and adrenalin levels were back to something nearing normal, I couldn’t help but ponder the concept of trust and that question ‘ do you trust me?’ moments before leaping out the open door of a plane.
Before the skydive, we were at the air hangar several hours before, time enough to observe the dynamic and teamwork.
As an Executive Coach regularly observing global teams and leaders in action, those that thrive, succeed and perform over their competitors invariably have uncommon levels of trust amongst each other.
Whilst awaiting my ‘jump’ I watched countless parachutes be re-packed having been scooped off the airfield. It transpired that the team pack each others ‘chutes. There was lots of communication, consistency and clarification.
Trust is built through success, but even faster through failure, adversity or learning.
When you or the team fails, or are faced with a challenge, how everyone responds to failure is a great litmus test for whether you can trust each other or not. WD-40 CEO, Garry Ridge sees failure as an opportunity to learn.
‘Leadership is about learning and teaching, he explains, why waste getting old if you can’t get wise?’
If that isn’t compelling enough, according to a recent study by researchers from Lund University and Stockholm University, people who trust others live longer – those who do not increase their risk of a shortened life. “Whether or not you trust other people, including strangers, makes a difference of about 10 months in terms of life expectancy”, says Alexander Miething, researcher at Stockholm University and one of the co-authors of the study.
Wishing you everything that is possible.
My warmest wishes,