We all know the feeling of stagnation. It’s something like boredom: when everything becomes routine and predictable. A slog. We’re just getting by on the minimum with no joy or enthusiasm. It’s not a place anyone wants to be. We’re drained, tired, and just want to be done.
When in a place of leadership, your job is never really done. And in work, it’s not done either. Breaks can be few and far between and when you or your team feels tapped out, it can be difficult to find the reprieve needed to get back in the saddle to do excellent work again.
So how do you re-energize? How do you bounce back when you’re tired, beaten down, and when you just want to go home?
These are strategies for rallying the troops and bringing life back to projects and your own personal drive to do and achieve, no matter what work you’re doing.
Reigniting a Stagnant Team in 6 Steps
1) Celebrate and reward success.
One of the most difficult things about working on anything for any extended length of time is doing it and feeling like it’s going nowhere. It doesn't motivate anyone to feel as though your part is insignificant, or worse when the only recognition you get from the leadership is when you’ve doing something wrong.
Don’t forget to celebrate success, as a group and as individuals. Reward that success appropriately. That goes for yourself, too! Allow yourself to enjoy your successes. Be proud of them. Celebrate them. Don’t get so nose-down into your work that you forget to appreciate the fruits of that hard labor.
2) Refocus on the vision.
At times, when we grow unenthused and weary, it helps to be reminded of our ultimate goals. What are we trying to accomplish? What is the vision we’re trying to execute? Do your best to put the image of that ideal future and those great accomplishments at the forefront of your mind and the minds of those you lead.
If we lose sight of our vision, it’s no surprise that we’ll run out of steam.
3) Define future expectations.
It’s not always enough to know what the end goal is. As I’ve often discussed over on the Memphis Invest blog, it’s crucial to have clearly defined short and long-term goals. There are times along the way where you’ll have to stop and revisit those goals and the actionable plans that will accomplish them.
As leaders, we also have to be very aware of our context. It’s not likely that the environment you’re in is the same as the one you started in. People’s lives change, the world around you changes, and circumstances change. It’s important to keep those factors in mind as you assess and evaluate your strategies.
4) Clarify responsibilities.
Effective teams know two things: exactly what is expected of them and how they are expected to do it. If you as a leader equip your team with the clarity and knowledge to accomplish their tasks, they will be far more motivated to actually execute them. Communication is such a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to recharging your team.
Even if it’s just yourself as an entrepreneur in need of a jumpstart, if you don’t know where to begin or how to begin, it’s going to be incredibly challenging to make any progress.
Start there. Make a plan and a path for yourself.
5) Reorient on the now.
It can be incredibly easy for us to orient ourselves on the past. We’ll fixate on mistakes and grow discouraged or grow too content to rest on past successes. Either way, it stops our forward momentum in its tracks.
6) Rediscover the why.
Let's circle back to the overall vision that you have. A vision by itself (the end goal) isn’t in itself always enough of a motivator. You want to get from point A to point B. Great. But why?
Oftentimes, leaders have a vision that can be narrow—we all need a why and a reason behind our vision that can rally long-term motivation, not only for us but for the people who are coming on this journey with us, too. Maybe your vision makes the world a better place. Maybe it’s as simple as providing a platform for financial security for you and those involved. Maybe it helps a cause that you really believe in.
Regardless of the "why," it needs to be there and it needs to be crystal clear.
Re-energizing your team comes down to igniting drive and purpose again. If you do everything in your power to equip your team to not only be able to do their jobs but to have a passion for it, you will be well on your way to success.