Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Building trust with your teams


Another key element of a successful product management organization is creating trust with your teams, the teams you work with to build your products. Creating relationships of trust sets a foundation for the work you and your teams will need to build great products.

Why is building trust so important?


Trust is the foundation of the global economy. Leaders at all levels of trade and business depend on trust to facilitate transactions. Building winning products with your teams follows the same principles.

Some years ago, I learned a simple yet profound formula for how trust works:

  • When trust is high, speed is high—things move quickly and costs go down
  • When trust is low, things slow down, and costs increase


Trust follows this same pattern when working with teams to build new products. When trust is high, things move quickly, and work gets done. That’s a key goal for every product manager. You deepen trust and strengthen the bonds with your team by taking the following actions:

  • Partner with teams to succeed in their roles: When working with engineering, design, marketing, sales and other teams, you need to form partnerships. Work closely with them to help them understand how the work they do contributes to the success of the product. Share market information and other data you have acquired to help them know that what they’re doing is important. Partnering shows them you care and builds trust.
  • Develop habits: As you work day in and day out with other teams you want to build habits that will lead to success. As you take action to do things consistently, trust rises. Your teams learn to rely on you, trust increases.
  • Expand trust: The key to expanding trust is knowing that trust goes two ways—you need to act so others will trust you, and you need to trust others to do what they say they will do. The latter creates significant power in the work you’re doing. People work with more dedication when you give them the reins and trust them to accomplish what they commit to. This significantly increases the quality and speed of the work they achieve.

Building trust takes time and significant effort. Losing trust can happen in an instant. It’s critically important to work hard every day to increase trust and create relationships that will facilitate your end goal of building great products.

Questions: How has building relationships of trust helped your career? Why is trust important to you? Please leave a comment in the space below.

The Product Management Perspective: Building trust with your teams is the second of five key factors of a methodology I have developed to create successful product teams. Stay tuned as I roll out the remainder of the factors in subsequent articles featured on Lead on Purpose.

3 thoughts on “Building trust with your teams

  1. Pingback: Motivating and influencing your teams | Lead on Purpose

  2. Pingback: Developing team member skills | Lead on Purpose

  3. Pingback: Changing the game with decisive action | Lead on Purpose

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