Everyone loves a Cinderella story.
The 1982 Canucks, the 2004 Flames, the 2005-2006 Oilers—all of these teams were rated average by experts.
They performed as expected throughout the regular seasons...but then, post-season began.
And they gained momentum.
With each period, each game, each playoff series, their momentum built. And this momentum made the crucial difference between winning and losing.
Just like any type of sports team needs momentum to grow, so too does every organization.
But how do organizations create momentum?
It starts with the leader.
Leaders create momentum.
When a leader knows how to reach their full potential, and how to get their team to reach their full potential, they create momentum (learn more about how to reach your full potential here. You can also learn more about how we can help you discover and grow your full leadership potential through our various different coaching programs).
When momentum is ignited, it brings everyone together. Teams succeed.
And the more they succeed, the more they want to succeed.
And the more they want to succeed, the harder they will work for it.
When a team has momentum going, they begin to look for ways to keep their momentum going. Because success is addictive.
Here’s how to gain momentum in an organization.
I once met a newly hired Executive Director of a well-established non-profit organization.
The company had once been high-performing, but had lost its momentum. The new leader saw this—board members were not fully engaged, employee morale was low, funders and donors were beginning to grow frustrated by the organization's low performance outcomes.
In short, it had been a long time since they had experienced a win.
The newly hired leader asked me how he could gain momentum in an organization such as this.
This is what I told him.
1. Feed the momentum with clarity of vision.
High-performing leaders have clarity of vision. They constantly share this vision with the members of their organization.
Use and share your clarity of vision with team members to help them understand what your organization’s goals are and what they need to do to succeed.
2. Be a living example.
Motivation is extremely contagious. As a leader, you should be modelling commitment and passion, which your employees will see.
This is how momentum spreads.
3. Make attitude a value.
Strong leaders show everyone in their organization that the highest value they contribute is a positive attitude.
4. Eliminate those who do not bring a positive attitude.
If someone does not add a positive attitude to the team, they will only bring about negative energy and bring the team down.
As a leader, you must invest in those you lead.
If you have a team member who drains morale, you must do something about it. You owe it to the organization and the employee to let them find a workplace where they can contribute with genuine enthusiasm.
5. Celebrate each win.
As John Maxwell says, it is amazing what leaders can achieve when they don’t care who gets the credit.
Good leaders constantly look for someone who is doing something right. And as they celebrate these small wins, it turns everyone involved into a winner.
This is how momentum is sustained.
“One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.”
Once your organization understands the basic vision, build on that understanding to achieve greater goals.
7. Continue to build momentum.
It’s not always easy to gain momentum in an organization that doesn’t have any to begin with. In fact, it’s easier to sustain momentum than to create it.
But with strong leadership, momentum can be achieved.
That is why building momentum is such an important leadership skill.
Think about the seven recommendations in this post. How do they apply to your organization and your role within it? What are some things you can do that will gain momentum in an organization?
If you’re interested in learning how to grow as a leader, consider one of our great leadership and coaching programs that are built to help leaders like you forge effective relationships, improve your ability to understand yourself, and grow in a more empowering way.
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The best is yet to come. It starts with you.