How to Believe in People

Belief enables leadership. You must believe in the people you lead.

Leaders who don’t believe in people are control freaks.

People follow you because you believe in them. Image of baby ducks looking at the screen.

Knowledge guides belief.

The more you know about the people around you, the better you can trust them.
Know what everyone on the team does well. Don’t take a broken truck to the dentist.

Know people’s capacity to rise. Put weight on people and see how they respond. Some respond positively to challenges. Others prefer stability.

Know what lights them up. Motivation is intrinsic. Monitor everyone’s energy. When you see someone go bright you learn their motivations. Give people work that energizes them.

Confidence enables belief.

Finish this sentence for everyone on the team. I’m confident _________ can _________.

Autonomy expresses belief.

How can you let people make their own decisions? Maybe their job defines the work they do, but they can find their own way to do the work.


Past disappointments weaken belief. You trusted people and they let you down. But you trusted the wrong people.

Strengthen your ability to believe in people by learning about them. Exercise informed belief. Blind faith is dangerous.

What role does belief play in leadership?

More to consider:

The Secret to Bringing Out the Best in Others

Believe in People: The Vitality of Authentic Leadership

The Power Of Believing In Others