Leaders face an astounding array of challenges, despite the size of the team or organization. The stress of leading a team and working towards a shared vision is hard work and can sometimes bring down even strong leaders. Working with people always brings a certain set of challenges because every individual is different.
When the pressures finally pile up enough, even strong leaders can break down and eventually it begins to show with the team and the organization. You may begin to see the team become demotivated, communication breakdowns, or ignored processes. A leader that lets this happen may not even be able to see these things unfolding in front of their eyes.
Sometimes it takes an outside source to move everyone’s eyes forward again and get the team back on the road. But, a lost team isn’t doomed for ultimate failure. If caught soon enough, there is still time to regain focus and get back to accomplishing the most desired goals.
“If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.” Zig Ziglar
Realize there is a problem
First, you must realize that there is or has been a problem. This is done by noticing or being told that something isn’t working, and then acting on it. If you sense that the team may have lost direction, asking for feedback is the perfect way to garner trust and get an opportunity to hear what those outside eyes can see.
Be up front with the team
It probably won’t be easy to explain what happened or why. A certain amount of humility will be required. This is the hard discussion necessary to move forward with a positive change for the future. Being honest and transparent about any mistakes that led to the team’s misdirection will do more to foster trust.
Remember your WHY
Focusing on the ‘WHY’ is always going to be your reset point. If you have lost direction and the team has become demotivated, just reinstate WHY you do what you do. Bringing this into focus has the ability to restrengthen any lost desire.
Ask for feedback and get the team on board. Be open to receiving honest feedback from every member of the team. There is a good chance they already have a good idea of what has demotivated the team and even how to move forward. Be open to receiving feedback, both positive and negative, and remain on neutral ground. Just listen.
Move and be collaborative
In order to pave a path for a new way forward you have to put into action those things that you decided to act on to make improvements. Don’t waste the team’s time and energy by sitting on anything and letting a problem get worse. Create an action list of items you and the team will accomplish together. Assign a date to each item and hold each other accountable for completion. If there are to be any process improvements, ensure that the whole team has buy-in on the new process.
Losing focus and motivation, while not desired, can happen and it shouldn’t be looked at as a failure. See these times as a chance for growth and an opportunity to strengthen the team and realign values with mission directives. Remain open and willing to change. With the right amount of courage and positivity, a team can easily be recovered.
Have you ever experienced a loss of focus that resulted in less drive? What did you do to regain control?
Leave your comment here.