Great leaders help teams visualise a winning future. They arm their team with the courage and audacity to remove roadblocks and galvanise people towards “impossible” feats.
Take John. He had been in tough situations before, but this time the cocktail of challenges was just too much. He needed more time, more resources, better systems, and the uncertainty of the restructure was distracting to everyone, including him. He confided, “I don’t think we can do this.”
I was sure he was right. Not because of the systems or the resources, or even the organisational chaos. But, if the leader lacks confidence, the team knows. It’s nearly impossible for a team to win when their leader loses faith.
Here are five reasons teams lose confidence:
1. A doubting leader
When a leader loses faith in his/her team’s ability to perform – with these players, in these conditions, on this field – the team will sense it. Even if the words are encouraging, the underlying emotions speak louder. If you’re not sure you can win, find a way to get your own head there, or let someone else call the shots for a while. If you
don’t believe it can be done, neither will they.
The team is tired, so the leader backs off on the training and preparation. They cut the team some slack when it comes to additional research or practice. The team feels initial relief, and thinks the coach is “nice”, but on game-day doubts they’re truly ready.
3. Discounted wins
The team has wins, but every time the leader discounts it or fails to understand it. Success without understanding is hard to replicate.
The leader is at the centre of every move – calling the shots, holding a huddle, directing the moves. Teams feel lucky to have the leader, but question their own contribution to the matter.
5. Reliance on a star player
Players get hurt, move on and become hard to deal with. It’s dangerous when a team begins to attribute success to just one guy (or girl). The most confident team believes in the team and its synergies. If the team starts to bet against themselves when one player is injured (or obnoxious), you’ve begun a downward spiral.
Karin Hurt is a keynote speaker, leadership consultant, and MBA professor. She has decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR which she uses to help clients turn around results through deeper engagement. She knows the stillness of a yogi, the reflection of a marathoner, and the joy of being a mom raising emerging leaders. If you are in need of consultation for team-building, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Thought of the Week articles, click here.
Reposted with permission on Leaderonomics.com.