Overcoming our need for invulnerability

Positive Quote: “Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” – Patrick Lencioni – The Five Dysfunctions of a Team


This took me many years as a new manager to really get. Once I did get it, it made for a more cohesive team.


To me, what this quote means is that, as a leader we have to not only accept that we don’t have all the answers, we have to be authentic with our teams. If something comes up that is an unknown, say it is an unknown and work towards a solution together.


In my experience, if a manager continually demonstrates that they think they have all the answers, your people will stop coming to you with their solutions and ideas and will wait to be told what to do. This does not lead to teamwork; it leads to apathy and lack of engagement.


A leader needs to be able to admit they made a mistake and take accountability for their own decisions. This is never more important in rebuilding trust. If trust is lost, it takes a much harder effort and time investment to restore it. Not all broken trust can be restored; it depends on what led to the trust being broken.


I was mentoring someone a while ago who had broken the trust of their team by purposefully misleading them. They eventually found out about it and the trust was gone. When I had discussions with this manager, I provided the guidance that even though the team knew the truth; they had never heard an apology or information from their manager as to the full story. I recommended that the manager be upfront with the team and say, I did this, I shouldn’t have, I am sorry, and here is what I am going to do differently to rebuild the trust. Here is how I am going to be accountable and I appreciate the willingness to let me rebuild the trust. By showing you are not invulnerable and showing how this not only affected you but how you are moving forward, it can help rebuild the trust and teamwork on the team.


How do you demonstrate you are not invulnerable to your team(s)?


  • How do you show your authenticity?


  • What do you think of this quote?


Have a great day.




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