"The day your team members stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership."
- Colin Powell
Being part of a team can be wonderful. The connection between team members, the trust and support of each other, and the knowledge that everyone is working toward the same goal can be an amazing experience.
What happens when everyone isn't as focused on the team as in the past? What if the appearance of support wasn't as sincere as the team believed? The impact of these changes can not only create divisions within the team, but has the potential to rip the team apart.
How could this happen?
Changes in life are not uncommon, in fact change is the most exciting part of life! Living a routine, same-old-schedule day in and day out would just about kill me. Learning, growing, and maximizing what you can become is the definition of living a full and meaningful life.
So how does all of the goodness that is wrapped up in change, end up pulling the team apart?
Team Agenda vs. Personal Agenda
As leaders...and as team members...we have to ensure that goals and priorities are clear. Every member has to know what is important, why it is important, and what needs to happen to achieve those goals. In the absence of knowledge, people will start filling in their own interpretation of reality. That is a slippery slope.
One of the worst things that can happen to a team is that one member or a small group of members decide that their wishes supersede those of all others. When this happens the team suffers. It is our job as leaders to make sure we keep the team informed, fired up about the future, and fully aware of what needs to happen, even if what needs to happen isn't the most popular option.
No one ever said leadership is easy.
How About You
When your team raises issues and concerns with you the next time, instead of feeling like you have another headache to deal with, be thankful. They are reaching out to you. They feel it is important that you know what is going on so you can do something about it. They believe in you...and that's a pretty special feeling.
I'd love to hear from you.