Getting More Action from Your Team

I confess I am a sports fan and probably spend too many hours watching professional sports. Have you ever wondered why some teams that spend top-dollar on athletes only deliver mediocre results? Or, why some teams are habitual winners or losers? I believe coaching and leadership play a big role in raising performance in both sports and business. This is the first of four posts dealing with getting action from your team.

My last series dealt with overcoming indecision. Indecision is rooted in confusion about what you do and how you do it. Whereas leaders looking to get more action are clear on what they want. These leaders want to master influencing their team to perform better. This series will look at three key areas that leaders can employ to raise results: Attitude, Motivation, and Collaboration.

Attitude is a habit of thought and a leader’s attitude has enormous impact on team performance. Going back to the sports analogy, losing (and winning) can become a habit. The most important attitude for a team leader is openness to change; and specifically the leader’s openness to personal change. It’s folly to think that a team is going to change and the team leader doesn’t have to.

Gen. Dwight Eisenhower described leadership as asking a group of people to do what you want and they do it because they want to. If a leader has an aspiration for the organization that offers benefit to team members, getting members’ engagement is much easier. For example, wanting improvement because you’re worried the seasonality of the business is going to get you in trouble with the bank, is not motivating to the team. Building the resources to keep a team in place year-round is abundance-based and far more attractive. The self-motivation of the leader does influence the morale of the team.

Everybody wants to have a sense of belonging at their job and that their work is valued. Building a collaborative culture is the best way to assure your team achieves that end. Including team members’ input to decisions that impact how they do their jobs moves a culture to be more collaborative. A leader’s authority can specify what the job is. The team decides how they go about the job. For many leaders this is a test in listening and keeping their ego in check.

In the coming weeks, I’ll explore these three topics more fully and will do my best to make the content actionable. Please keep an eye out for the coming posts.

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