And How to Get Them Moving

One of the most frustrating things for a leader is to have a team that is stuck in a rut. You’ve probably experienced this.

Team members seem unmotivated.

Fresh ideas are scarce.

Complaints rise.

Motivation falls.

Teams get stuck for predictable reasons. Once you diagnose the problem, the solutions become obvious. Here are four reasons teams get hung up, and how to get them moving again.

  1. They’re Not Winning

Setbacks are inevitable, but nobody likes to be on a losing streak. If your team has been too long without experiencing a victory, morale will suffer. This can happen even on a great team if the project takes too long or is too arduous.

Solution: Create a win. Find a simpler project that has a high probability of success and focus on that for while. Remind your team how much fun it is to score a victory.

  1. They Lack Resources

Leaders sometimes expect their teams to create bricks without straw—that is, to produce results without adequate resources. This happens when you gradually increase the goals without addressing funding, or when you go through a staff reduction and have to ask those who remain to pick up the slack. That’s fine for a while, but running too long in austerity mode simply wears people out.

Solution: Do less. If you can’t increase your resources, reduce your expectations. Focus on what matters most.

  1. They Forgot Why They’re Here

Teams often start off with great excitement but get bogged down with the mundane. What’s a leader to do?

Solution: Cast. Vision. Relentlessly. I can’t say this enough: People want to be inspired.

  1. There Is a Problem Team Member

One person with a bad attitude, poor work ethic, or questionable character can undermine an entire team. When that team member’s behavior is unchallenged, productivity grinds to a halt.

Solution: Challenge the poor performer. If he or she can improve, great! If not, you’ll need to make a change. Don’t allow one complainer to destroy a healthy team.

All teams want to be successful and productive. When they’re not, it’s the leader’s role to diagnose and treat the problem.

These ideas have worked for me. What works for you? I’d love to hear your answer on Facebook or Twitter!