Building Your Trust Muscle

Words by Joshua Fields Millburn

The most important skill I learned during my dozen years in the corporate world was trust.

When I managed people in my early twenties, I tried to micromanage their work. The more I tried to be involved in every detail—i.e., the more I tried to do their work on my own—the more distrust I demonstrated.

As the years went on, however, I managed more and more employees—hundreds of people—and I was forced to relinquish control.

Every great leader has this skill—I don’t know a single great leader who is also a great micromanager.

Trust isn’t something that just happens: you must develop your trust muscle by relinquishing control. Let it go.

Sure, people will fail: they will let you down—that’s inevitable. You can let those failures disappoint you, or you can let them help you grow. One failure isn’t the end of the world. The people who repeatedly succeed will solidify the trust you’ve placed in them; the people who consistently fail will lose your trust altogether.

Joshua Fields Millburn

Joshua Fields Millburn is a bestselling author, writing instructor, and international speaker. Best known as one half of The Minimalists, he is the author of four books, including a critically acclaimed memoir, Everything That Remains. He has been featured in Time, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, Vancouver Sun, Village Voice, LA Weekly, and many other outlets. Born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1981, he currently lives in Los Angeles, California.


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