“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” – John C. Mawell
One of the deepest lessons I learnt from my friend who has also been my coach during my youth, Vlad, was pretty simple. Simple but deep. Whenever he heard a leader complain about his team, his answer was simple: “Your team is your reflection. Past or present reflection. Think about it and you’ll see what needs to change“. It may seem corny at first, but it’s actually pretty logical and it’s the exact thing that explains the key to your team problem.
Those of you who are parents, will probably relate to this even easier. Your words and actions set the bar and direction for your team. People follow you as a leader because of your values. They will adopt you as a standard for what they do and they will addopt your attitude, as well as your behavior. Over time, your team becomes a reflection of your leadership. Your actions and attitudes matter.
What does this mean? It means a few simple basic things:
- You are accountable
- You can change your attitude and this will soon be reflected in your team
- If you don’t change, most likely your team won’t change either
1. You are accountable
So, that is exactly why, when I hear leaders complain about their team, my first question is always “what in your behavior may have generated that?”. If your team is demotivated, have you done anything to motivate them?! If your team lacks enthusiasm, may it be that you also lack it? If your team lacks bravery, may it be that you always punish errors and find fault?! These questions may be upseting you, but this is also where the key to your problem may lie.
2. You can change your attitude and this will soon be reflected in your team
The sunny side is that it goes both ways. If you change your attitude and become more enthusiastic, more positive, more results-oriented, more hands-on, more “whatever makes your work better”, chances are your team will follow you and will reflect your attitude. Chances are your team will soon become the team you are dreaming of. And there is also a big chance that the ones that don’t believe in the values that come with this new attitude, will event leave the team.
3. If you don’t change, most likely your team won’t change either
Just like Michael Jackson said “I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways”. Just like the song goes, the team will not change unless its leader does. It may change on individual level, but as a group, as a team, leadership is the one that pushes the tone of voice.
Have you ever complained about your team only to realise in the end that your team is a reflection of you? Please share your thoughts and help others relate to this.