Every team gets worn down from time to time, and the results are costly. Morale sags, and productivity suffers. Complaints dominate staff time. Every project begins to take longer and cost more. Valued team members burn out and leave the organization.
Discouragement is not from facing challenges. You will never see the frustration on the face of a Super Bowl champion or hear exasperation in the voice of a staffer who just closed a deal after a year of delays.
High achievers thrive on solving problems. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.” High achievers love a challenge, and they enjoy being stretched to the limit of their capacity. They will take on almost anything as long as they can see a win at the end of the tunnel.
Team members wear down when they don’t see progress. Period.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.” An organization that has made a spoken or unspoken commitment to standing still is one that will fail to assemble—or retain—a winning team.
Your job as a leader is to create a winning group mentality. “We can do this!” “Look how far we’ve come.” “I knew you could!” “We’re beginning to see a difference.” “See what happens when we pull together!”
Many championships are won in the locker room. The team that is totally convinced it can win cannot be deterred by setbacks. President Ronald Reagan said, “There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.” Your job is to create a “barrier free” environment.
Create an atmosphere of anticipation.
Establish objectives and set reachable goals.
Look for measurable progress and note it in correspondence or staff meetings.
Celebrate wins with public affirmation and reward.
Praise team members for noticeable gains and encourage them to pay it forward.
Call attention to small victories as a step toward greater victories.
Throw a giant party for big wins.
Celebration keeps your team fired up and moving forward! Wins, great or small, create even greater wins.
– Stan Toler