Fire up the team
Written by: Renée LeMoine
Photo by: Ivan Malý
“We just acquired a prestigious new client at our agency by promising to deliver a truly unique campaign on a short deadline. I am feeling overwhelmed, and have an overworked team to boot. Now what?
Robert Strauss once said, “Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you are tired – you quit when the gorilla is tired.” If you want your team to succeed, you have to keep pushing beyond what you think is your team’s current capability to find out what is really possible. You need to both manage a fast pace and conserve energy by focusing on team-building attributes that will maximize each members’ contribution.
• Enthusiasm is contagious. A positive ‘can-do’ and ‘failure is not an option’ attitude will put your team in the right frame of mind. John Maxwell wrote in Failing Forward, “If you want to be enthusiastic, you need to start acting that way. If you wait for the feeling before acting, you may never become enthusiastic.”
• Collaborating together precedes winning together. Team members use each other’s strengths to compensate for their weaknesses. Use each other’s parts to make a whole. While friendly competition is healthy, a cohesive team perceives itself as a unified body.
• When there is a will, there is a way. Discipline may require that you make decisions that you would rather avoid. It involves regularly taking on mental challenges, keeping emotions in check, and demonstrating positive work habits like completing tasks on time and keeping promises made to colleagues.
• Be deliberate and tenacious
Willis Whitney said, “Some men have a thousand reasons why they can’t do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.” Reinforce your team’s purpose by prioritizing responsibilities, determining strengths and weaknesses, and managing the pace for the entire project. When the team is tired, and they keep coming up against tough obstacles, keep their sight on the finish line. Being tenacious requires giving 100% and keeping the focus on delivering your services as promised.
Renée LeMoine, Executive Director, LeMoine & Associates, offers consulting and training solutions for management, leadership, and team-building challenges.