Connection and Trust

As I sat in my hotel room this past weekend watching the Arkansas-Oklahoma basketball game I could not help but smile as the announcers continued to sing the praises of how Head Coach Porter Moser has gotten the kids to play his style of basketball so quickly.

First, Porter might beg to differ as they made a few bad decisions down the stretch in their blowout that I know drove him nuts.

But that is not the only reason he would disagree.

See, in his mind, the effort and heart his Sooners played with did not happen overnight as it has been a work in process since they got on campus together this fall.

They had to work at it, and they had to work at growing as a team and embracing what it takes to create the culture that is expected and accepted.

For the last several months he and I have talked about the growing pains, the small wins in practice and in the classroom, the type of young men he was bringing into the program as well as the type he was saying no-thank-you to.

If you watched any of his Loyola teams play the last several years and now the early stages of his first Oklahoma team, it is obvious that his players buy-in.

We are always talking about buy-in and believe-in when talking about how to get your people on board to understand they are a part of something bigger than themselves and embrace operating with a singleness-of-purpose.

A key that is overlooked by so many leaders… get your people emotionally attached to your purpose. This is not done with smoke and mirrors, vague direction, and identifying roles for the sake of job descriptions.

Several things go into getting emotional attachment but right now I want to talk to you about the most important thing a leader can do.

Build trust and connection every single day!


  • Authenticity- Honesty, Integrity, and Vulnerability
  • Go Deep- Ask great questions, delay judgment while listening to understand, and then ask more questions
  • Value them- Get to know what makes your people tick- hopes, fears, dreams, goals, obstacles, crucibles, influencers in their lives
  • Consistently identify the meaning and significance in their work
  • Coach them! – Challenge and inspire them to do things they may not have thought possible
  • Get them outside their comfort zone, provide controlled freedom, and support them every step of the way

Remember, leadership is about influence and to be a high-growth and high-impact coaching leader you need to build an unshakable foundation of trust. The more the people you lead trust you the more positive and transformative influence you can have on them.

This is where the magic happens!

Getting your people emotionally attached to a cohesive purpose is a game-changer and provides a competitive advantage that creates the culture of for each other vs with each other, conviction vs. convenience, and invested vs. interested.

Your people are more engaged, productivity is boosted, and you increase your level of retention.


People want to play for and work for a coach they can connect with and trust.

Keep Doing Great Things,

This was originally published as a weekly newsletter from Ed Molitor, with The Molitor Group. If you’d like to receive the weekly newsletter, follow this link to subscribe.


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