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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Don't Apologize...

Don't apologize for being motivated, inspired, and pushing your team to be the best. I've had times where I expect my associates to arrive fired up, excited, and ready to kick ass. Then I see them and they're complaining about being tired, a fight with the spouse, or the inability to get the kids to do their homework. The last thing they are...is motivated. That's where you come in. Everyone on your team has a job. I believe that associates on your team should be able to do aspects of the job better than you. In some cases significantly better.
Alabama football coach Bear Bryant was asked about rumors that some coaches on his staff knew more about football than he did, the legends responded, "I hope they do otherwise I don't need em." I agree with that. I want people on my team to be better in certain areas of the job than I am. One reason is they do it more than I do, so their experience should allow them to improve. At least that's the plan.
The job of inspiring your team is yours. It's great on those rare days when everyone on the team is excited and ready to work, but most of the time it's the example above. That's where you come in. The morale of any team always goes back up to the top. It goes up to the associates immediate supervisor, and if they aren't the problem it goes to the next one. Even if morale on a larger scale is poor you can maintain morale on your team's level.
Morale isn't always good. Sometimes the morale is too high bordering on overconfidence which can lead to inefficiency. In those cases you have to bring morale down. A wake up call if you will. They won't like it, but don't apologize for trying to bring out their best. You set the standard on where your team is at, so you are always the one it starts with. Even if your team is overconfident than likely you are in some way. The team's status is always a good indication of where you are at in your leadership at the time.
Remember if you have bad eggs on the team it's your job to move them off your team if they are affecting the whole. Don't blame bad performers on your struggles if you're doing nothing to fix it.
A great book to learn about where you are in your leadership is The Five Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell. You're at different levels at different times in your leadership and he teaches the importance of understanding that. If your team needs a boost, a kick, a high five, or a hug it starts with you. The leader is the driver of the team. Your team's actions are ALWAYS a direct reflection of you.

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