Making Organizations Awesome

Leadership lessons from a motivational listener

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How does your team smell?

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It’s easy when you’re on a team to let little complaints leak out to others in the organization. Let’s say you start a difficult project that runs in parallel with everyone’s main job, and at the beginning not everyone in your team is pulling their weight.

If you compain about that to even one person outside the team, it affects you, the team, and the project. If two people hear about it, you start to build a reputation for the team that only a few of you are doing the real work.

Turning this around takes two steps.

First of all, you have to address it in the team. You have to give the feedback to people who are not performing and get them back on board. Second, you have to tell the real story of how you corrected the problem in the team.

You may be tempted when asked to say “Everything’s great, we’re all on track!” but if people had a perception that you had difficulties when you started off, it’s better to be honest. “At the beginning we weren’t all 100% engaged but we gave each other the feedback and came together strongly. I’m really proud of how we dealt with that and the results we’re producing now.”

The real true story will get you further than just pretending everything is perfect – most people can see right through that.

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