Chapter 3. Enable Trust and Respect

This chapter looks at how trust helps teams come through adversity, and be more open to sharing ideas and getting to a breakthrough. Trust isn’t something you can inject into people, but there are things you can do to help seed and support its growth. Learning how to lead teams in ways that enable trust, instead of diminishing it, is critical to collaboration. Working closely with people who are quite different from you can feel uncomfortable, but being able to work through differences yields great results; it just takes a little time and experience together to get there.

No one knows this better than Jimmy Chin, a photographer and filmmaker who is known for his work with athletes in extreme situations. His first major film, Meru, tells the story of three alpinists on their first ascent of an especially challenging peak in the Himalayas. The endeavor was so tough that they faced death multiple times before succeeding. His second film, the Oscar-winning Free Solo, captures a premier rock climber, Alex Honnold, climbing the 3,000-foot-high sheer rock face of Yosemite’s El Capitan—without ropes or protection of any kind. What stands out in these extremely risky endeavors is the deep trust between the teammates, because they are quite literally putting their lives in each other’s hands.

But Chin’s collaborations aren’t limited to the rock faces he shoots on. He produces his films with his wife, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, an award-winning documentary ...

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