In today’s market environment, thriving and struggling businesses alike seem to be experiencing increasing challenges in competitive, economic and market conditions.
In these times when the business opportunities and challenges are bountiful and the tangible material and physical resources such as budgets, expenses, resources and travel are scarce, most leaders I speak to seem to feel a growing need to unleash and promote the intangible assets. They seek to boost the mental and leadership energy, creativity, ownership and resourcefulness of individuals and the team as a whole.
Leaders often talk about the fact that in today’s environment “the only constant is change.” In this environment, any team weaknesses or dysfunctionalities that could have been avoided or overlooked in stable times can’t be ignored. Obstacles to success must be addressed and fixed in challenging times in order for the team to work at its full potential.
Unfortunately, most individuals and teams in organizations are quite reactive to circumstances, so when things are going well, they feel strong, empowered and focused. But when there is a lot of change and/or circumstances make a turn for the worst – they often lose their cool confidence and inner balance and get into an individual and collective funk.
The longer circumstances stay challenging, the worse morale and confidence usually get. This eventually affects performance and results in a negative way. I am seeing this happen in many companies.
It gets worse when people listen to the media and hear stations like CNN constantly bombarding the screen with gloom and doom. And, the more people hear about companies who are laying off people, the worse this morale and confidence downward spiral gets.
This vicious circle is avoidable when people and teams have the right leadership mindset and competency to self-generate their own attitudes and mindsets, no matter what the circumstances are.
In my last blog I quoted Alan Kay who said “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
Can you imagine the possibilities any team could generate when its entire workforce genuinely believes that “no matter what the circumstances are – we can invent our future and control our own destiny?”
Thinking and behaving in this way allows people to own their thoughts, behaviors and actions. It equips and empowers everyone to catch and stop the negative, disempowering and fear-based or stress-based feelings and conversations before they take over. People then can turn a negative dynamic and atmosphere into a more positive, productive and energizing one.
The notion of inventing the future allows people to stay centered and focused when things are turbulent around them.
When people understand the power associated with inventing the future rather than merely reacting to it, they start creating exciting objectives, projects, milestones and events to work on in the present. This creates even greater possibilities to look forward to in the future.
Unfortunately, I still see many team environments in which circumstances are challenging and victim-mentality becomes accepted and rampant. In these situations, people excuse and justify poor performance and low morale.
However, when the entire team is in that same positive, proactive and self-generative mindset, people go out of their way to support, empower and encourage each other to go beyond and behave in an un-circumstantial, un-stoppable way. I have actually seen teams that have used these phrases as mantra’s to become a high performance team.