Most leaders love taking on new challenges;
working in new environments, in new locations and in new industries. For them ‘variety is the spice of life’. However what if their leadership role needs
to be focused on simply keeping the status quo?
What if their company or team has got everything just about right and
improvements can only be measured in fractions of a percentage point?
For those companies that have reached a
point where further expansion is pointless and where consistency is the
overriding management driver, keeping everything the just the way it is can be
the hardest challenge of all. What might
seem to many as a mundane nightmare, can in reality prove to be a challenging leadership
‘Never change a winning team’ is the favorite
motto of many. But ask any coach and he
or she will tell you that that statement is a naive hope of over simplification.
Winning teams quickly become complacent
and with complacency comes de-motivation and the increased likelihood of
loosing. The upward pull of the vortex
of motivation is just as powerful as the downdraft of the vortex of depression.
In order to keep a team performing consistently,
one must be prepared to make constant tweaks and changes: A new initiative here, a minor improvement
there. You might, for example, need to re-deploy
a ‘comfortable’ manager (even initially against his or her will) into a new
challenge before they become complacent.
And you certainly will need to spend a great deal of time inventing
endless variations of personal rewards for same level company performance!
A manager that has consistency as their
main objective quickly learns just how tough their task can be. Any competent leader can lead a team to
victory, given the right team and the right circumstances and a bit of
luck. But only the toughest leaders can
keep their team in the number one spot year in year out.
So the next time you find yourself thinking
that running a consistently outstanding company or department is much easier
than turning around an under performing one, think again. If a company that has experienced year on
year double digit growth ever hits the number one spot in a flat market, trust
me, they will need to replace most, if not all, of their management team! The challenge of trying to stand still, even
at the top of the mountain, is an objective too great for most.
Have a good week,