Beyond the corporate culture clichés, dazzling videos of teams cooperating hand in hand for the victory of their firm and themselves, reality is much more complicated when it comes to developing a working organization.
And with the new generations of young people, highly individualistic and defiant, the job of making teams functional and expansive is even greater.
Teams are strong, and the stronger the collective, the more the manager feels alone during conflicts.
Personally, I have always viewed my job as to encourage the development of strong collectives. The cooperation between members gives much more business through faster growth of the new employees, and customer satisfaction. But I am always aware that there is a price.
Because the good working atmosphere is not the goal, but the means, and the real objective is reaching targets set for the team. On occasions, you will need to do things that are right for the organization, even if those actions are viewed as unpopular.
If the thought of being unpopular worries you, remind yourself that:
- Change, extra work, new methods is always disruptive to comfort, and many people value their comfort. Some to the point that it might threaten their results. Negativity is to be expected.
- You are doing it for the greater good. How many leaders have been dragged in the mud during their reign to be rediscovered later as long-term thinking individuals? Take Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister of the U.K. from 1979 to 1990 for instance. She was not after popularity, she knew what was right, and she gave back a job and a future to millions of Britons. Things might not be so dramatic where you are (it is not where I am), but that´s the confidence you need to feel.
- The team is not your family, you have no moral obligation to defend them in all circumstances. There´s a line, everyone´s interpretation differs to where it is when it comes to work habits and the relationship with the manager, but you have to let go of someone if that person cannot be put on the right track, even after trying to reason him or her. You did what you could.
I won´t go into the communication aspects with the team because that´s a whole chapter, but I need to emphasize one thing: do it with confidence and resolve.
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