People like to win. Everyone likes the thrill of success. In fact, the belief we can win motivates us. If we feel helpless, or that we are incapable of winning, we stop trying.
When we stop trying failure is imminent.
When times are tough we tend to push hard asking more and more of our teams. The wins become fewer and fewer as we strive to regain dominance, market share, or just prevent cataclysmic decline. With the decline in wins comes a decline in confidence as the teams begin to wonder if they are even capable. As confindence declines, losses pile up, wins decline even faster and confidence erodes even more. The cycle has begun.
When sales are down, when your product team is struggling with innovation, when the competition is kicking your ass, or when external enviroments are taking their toll, look for ways to give your team wins. Cut quota for the quarter, offer incentives for a net new client, reward innovative improvement on an existing product rather than just the new product. Build your teams confidence, give them a chance to win.
Like a baseball team in a rebuilding year, don’t expect the World Series, not only will you not get there you will damage your chances next year also.
Like that baseball team in a rebuilding year look for incremental improvement. Target your biggest weaknesses. Focus on team chemistry. Look for little wins that can be big wins and build confidence.
Decline can happen overnight. Recovering from decline rarely can. Don’t suck the remaining life out of your organization trying to get back to the World Series in the first year. Focus on getting some wins. Without the wins the rest is just a loss.
If you want to win, you have to give em a chance!