In my time cultivating oodles of leaders and leadership teams, it was repeatedly reinforced that paying attention to creating team culture is worth the effort. I’ve seen so many teams latch onto the quirks, foibles or neuroses of their leadership team, for better or for worse - generally for worse.
It can be lonely in a challenging work environment. When you know things can be better and you have ideas for making that change happen, trying to do it alone is enough to make many people not even bother to try.
I frequently hear from people in organizations (particularly nonprofit organizations) who want to cultivate more leaders from within but are struggling to get people to step into leadership roles. One huge barrier to people stepping up is that they see and hear (and maybe are repeatedly told) that leaders in the organization are not appreciated.
There was a heartbreaking moment at a recent webinar where I was co-presenting. One leader told the group about how the changing and ambiguous future was affecting her team. Specifically, someone was angry with every decision and every step forward. Really angry.
Have you ever been frustrated or mystified by someone telling you “I had no choice” when it seemed pretty obvious that they made about 100 choices leading up to that moment? Or how do you feel about hearing the old saw: there just are no good options? If there truly were no choices to be made life would be quite a bummer and evaporating motivation would be understandable and unavoidable. Choice can be a powerful motivator.
One of the very worst aspects of motivation is when it leaves you mid-project and you still have a long, long way to go.
“Stop Wasting Money on Team Building” a Harvard Business Review title screamed at me. “Most corporate team building is a waste of time and money” was the terse opening line of this article from Carlos Valdes-Dapnea. At this point my blood pressure probably (definitely) skyrocketed and my mind was already racing to provide an eloquent counterargument (more likely a sputtering aggressive beat-down) in response to this shot across the bow.
Here's a guest blog I did for the Rose City Rollers! Derby athletes train all the time. All. The. Time. On skates. Off skates. They train to acquire and improve individual skills and to enhance team performance. When it comes to the individual athlete, we often talk about mental toughness and the ability to perform under pressure.