Understanding Underachieving

Individual committment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.

– Vince Lombardi

Why do sports teams who on paper are comprised of unquestioned talent fail to deliver in reaching their collective potential?  (The Philadelphia Eagles being the most recent in a long list of examples) Why do companies with tremendous initial capitilization, staffed with experience and talent never turn a profit? For both of these questions  quite often the failure to reach group potential is the direct result of individuals not becoming fully committed to the group effort and goals.

Let’s take a look at what I believe are leading internal team factors preventing  individuals from being committed to  group effort . Please note, the action that leads to these factors emerging will differ from situation to situation but it is vital as a leader of a team to understand what needs to be guarded against to prevent underachieving.  In the teachings of Dick Bennett victory starts with eliminating defeat.

  • Team members not understanding, simply misunderstanding, or naively believing their role would be different than the role the team needs them to play.
  • Team members feel their role and efforts are unrecognized and/or unappreciated.
  • Team members are unwillingly to alter their effort/role  to best align with the efforts/roles of their teammates.
  • Team members no longer trust in teammates committment to the group effort and their own personal best effort.
  • Team members feeling the role they are being asked to play was misrepresented at their front-end.
  • Team members feeling their role is being changed without understanding or being communicated to as to why.
  • Leadership not accurately understanding what is needed to cohesively blend the talent together to maximize the potential of the team.
  • Team members no longer unquestionably trusting in the sincerity and validity to the group cause of leaderships words and actions.
  • Team members feeling leadership is more focused on the best interest of a select few than the whole.

Looking at the factors listed above it is vital as a coach that you:

  • Communicate early, often, and clearly the roles of each team member.
  • You get in alignment each team members’ expectations and understandings of their role with their actual role.
  • You never stray from your unyieding committment and focus on the group interest and goal. 
  • Your actions and words never contradict a committment to the group and goal.
  • You never assume you know what team members are thinking and you never assume they understand your motives.  You need to constantly be in dialogue and relationship with team members to maintain the trust needed to reach full group potential.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s