leadership incorporated blog

January 9, 2011

Inspired to Succeed: Get Your Team Onboard for Growth in 2011


If you want to grow from point A to point B in 2011, you can’t get there alone. You need to get your team onboard.

I’m coaching several leaders who are confronting the many challenges of creating engaged buy-in. These challenges take many forms, but ultimately boil down to one or more of the following:

  1. Team members can’t see the destination or the benefit of getting there
  2. They want to go somewhere else
  3. They don’t understand your way of getting there
  4. They see their own way to get there
  5. They don’t see their part in getting there

Remember that your team will come from their own perspective. But only 100% of the time.

Your opportunity to manage the change you want to see, is to make your destination and the path to it very clear and show your team WIIFT (What’s In It For Them).

It can be tempting to take the path of least resistance and try to create the change you want to see by yourself, or  by engaging only a few key team members. But true leadership involves leveraging the power of your entire organization. That’s where you’ll create your greatest growth.

Here are 8 strategies for getting everyone on-board to create effective business growth:

1. Invest in understanding what’s important to them. Get into conversation and ask questions that will illuminate what they want — and what they don’t want. You need to understand how your goals and objectives align or misalign with your teams’ personal and professional goals and objectives. It’s impossible for people to focus effectively on your needs when theirs aren’t being attended to. The act of taking an interest and striving to create win-win scenarios will take you far in surprising ways.

2. Connect the dots. Don’t expect them to figure out WIIFT themselves. Engage them in the conversation and help them to identify ways your vision for growth is an opportunity for them, as well. Don’t hesitate to ask them to define the benefits and detriments for themselves. Find ways to create alignment or expect to create intentional and unintentional sabotage of your objectives. Remember, not everyone has to share the same benefits to commit to the journey.

3. Make sure that WIIFT is positive. Avoiding negative outcomes is not nearly as powerful as real benefits. To be effective, WIIFT should not sound like “you get to keep your job.”

4. Be specific. Do the work of identifying the contributions you need and from whom you need them. Invite your team to find specific actions they can take to make a difference. They may come up with things that hadn’t yet occurred to you.

5. Ask for their involvement. Ask for their best work.  It might seem like it should go without saying, but don’t let it!

6. Share progress. Connect them with the results they are creating.

7. Create a positive pressure to perform. Schedule regular progress meetings. Make these positive, celebratory — and mandatory. Have the team lead the meeting. Let them know everyone needs to speak. Find little ways to celebrate progress as you go.

8. Appreciate often. Notice what people and teams are doing and acknowledge it.

To lead successful growth focus on the greater good, not just WIIFY (What’s In It For You.)

Their buy-in begins with you.

Here’s to your growth in 2011!

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.