We need to talk about you and the success of your team. Part of that success comes from the level of commitment your team members have to the collective work. If you are reading these words, I know you understand that as a leader, you have a role to play in helping your team be more successful. This blog (and many others) exist, and trainers and consultants (like me) exist in part to provide you with tools, ideas and insights, but the reality is that the level of commitment that your team has to each other and the team itself starts with you.
How committed are you?
Does the team see you as a part of the team, separate, yet equally committed to their success?
If you want a team that is committed to the goals, vision and purpose that caused the creation of the team in the first place (whether for a project or a specific ongoing business purpose), they need to see your personal commitment.
In order for this to happen, two things must take place:
- You must actually be committed.
- Others must see and recognize that commitment.
So how committed are you? Are you willing to put in the hours, make the tough calls, and do the things that you are asking/expecting of your team? It’s not enough that you have done it in the past; talking to people about your “walking to school uphill both ways” story won’t work for them any more than it works on children.
Do you believe in the mission and value of your team?
If so, what is the foundation of that belief?
Answering these questions is an important part of your ability to be successful in leading your team, but even that isn’t enough.
Because perception is reality. So even if by every honest measure your answer to the previous questions is a resounding yes, if the team doesn’t see it or believe it, it isn’t enough.
The good news is that if you truly are committed, it will be much easier to manage perceptions — people generally have pretty good B.S. meters. But you have some real work to do if you haven’t shown your commitment in the past or if your reputation in this area is less-than-stellar, or if past leaders haven’t been seen as committed, you may be living with their legacy.
Make sure you are committed to your team, and make sure in small and large ways, that the team sees it — and you are on your way to greater team commitment and success.