Over the years, there’s one thing that I’m learning over and over about leadership- it’s a relational game.

Leadership is proven by followership.  Think about it. No one wants to follow someone that’s unorganized.  Nobody is trying to become like the guy who never gets things done or can’t show up on time.  People don’t trust people that can’t control their emotions, and they definitely aren’t going to follow someone they can’t trust.

Trust is the glue that holds relationships together.  It’s the stuff that holds great teams together.  Good leadership is about producing results and great outcomes through people.  You can’t do it all yourself. You need other people, and that’s what makes the journey worth it.

When trust increases, speed increases and costs decrease- a leader’s dream.

So how do you build trust?  Take ownership of what it means to lead yourself well, and implement these 5 steps:

1. Get outside perspective.
If you’re cloudy in your clarity, seek more feedback.  Everyone has blind spots, and if you think you don’t, seek more feedback :).

2. Take 100% responsibility for your life and leadership.
Great leaders don’t make excuses for their behavior.  You can’t change the things you’re making excuses for, but you can change what you decide to own.  If you want to produce something different, you need to be somebody different.

3. Know how to say “no.”
Instead of “to-do” lists, start making “stop doing” lists.  The secret to concentration is elimination- saying no to little (nonessential) things allows you to give your yes to the big (important) things.

4. Have your own personal development plan.
The power of your life is in the plan of your life.  Good intentions don’t produce desired outcomes- plans do.

5. Learn from your failures/mistakes.
You can choose to make it true that you are either winning or your learning.  You never truly fail if you learn.