In grad school, as assignments and group projects would drag on, I would often say the “give a shit factor is starting to rise”, which means I am starting to care less and less about the project and the quality I am producing and I just want to get the project completed NOW. As you can imagine, that is not a good place to be when you pride yourself on producing quality work.
This thought popped into my head the other day when reading the beautiful comments from my wife on my Father’s Day card. The question of why do we work so well together as a couple and parents came to mind and got me thinking about partnerships and teams.
There are many reasons for successful partnerships and teams in general, but one of the main factors is the “care factor” of everyone involved. For teams to be successful, the leader needs to LOVE their team and find a way to have team members really care about their end goal and each other.
Listen to any championship winning team’s coach. One of the first things they say is “I love these guys” when asked about their team. Their ‘give a shit’ factor is low. If, as a leader, you are not in love with your team, it will show and the sentiment will have a trickledown effect on the rest of the team. If you don’t care, why should they?
Get Your Team to Care
Role modeling a high care factor for your team is one part of having a caring group of team members but there is a much bigger factor. Financial incentives and reward systems may have their place in your team but the motivation from believing in the higher purpose of your team will always be the ultimate motivating factor. It is essential that your team members know and care about what the team is working to achieve to buy into the greater purpose. What’s your team’s championship trophy?
Do you REALLY care about your team or project or the organization you are working for? If not, when you face challenging times, your ‘give a shit’ factor will increase and in turn, your quality of work and commitment to your team will degrease rapidly. Alternatively, when you believe in the purpose and meaning of your team and organization, your ‘give a shit’ factor stays low in challenging times because you actually care for the greater purpose.
As a leader, are your team members clears on their greater purpose? Have you given them excellent reasons to care?
The next time your team faces a significant challenge, don’t automatically incentivize them with ‘things’, money, or other perks. Work harder and make sure they are clear on the purpose.
“The greatest things in life are not things”
There is a good reason why non-profits and socially responsible organizations attract the most dedicated workforce when many can find great financial reward elsewhere. They have a clear, compelling purpose and make sure everyone knows it.
Be aware of your ‘give a shit’ factor and the affect it has you and your teams.