Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Leaders Create Momentum

Every fall, with the return of football season, we hear countless announcers inform us about the importance of momentum in sports. One team has all the momentum; with everything seemingly going its way as they cruise up and down the field adding points to the scoreboard. But suddenly, momentum shifts and their offense stalls while the opposing team finds new life and begins to move the ball.

“Old Mo is fickle” we are told as the pundits excitedly report on the sudden change in the complexion of the game. “You can feel the shift all the way up here in the press box” the announcers proclaim breathlessly.

But what really is momentum and how does it apply to your business?

Momentum is really nothing more than the feeling or excitement that comes from success. When people have success, it improves their confidence. And improved confidence leads to more success. On the football field, momentum shifts because the defense calls a blitz and catches the offense unprepared. The result might be a loss of yardage at a key point, or maybe a turnover. And that success translates into confidence for the players on the field. Suddenly, they know what they can do and they start believing in themselves and their coaches.

It is the same way in business. Momentum comes from having success in developing that new product, finding the financing that you so desperately need, or closing that first big sale. A company with momentum starts to grow because the team has confidence in themselves and their leadership. Success tends to breed more success so that one victory leads to another. And once momentum begins to pick up, and the confidence level increases, victories become more common and everyone on the team learns to expect success.

But just like in football, momentum in business can be fleeting. A setback in the product or the loss of a key customer can shatter the confidence of an organization, reverse the momentum, and begin a downward spiral. This downward spiral is often only reversed by another victory that restores that confidence.

But victories don’t happen by accident. Victories are the result of good planning and good execution. The team practices that blitz every week, but in a game, the coach makes the call at the right moment and the momentum of the game shifts. In business, the sales team is trained and the product features and benefits are built based on the needs of the customer. As in football, the tools are there ready to be used, ready to create momentum and confidence. What is needed is for the leader to create the opportunity for success, to call the right play to allow the team to win.

They say that a leader has a strategic vision, and that the leader sees what others do not. It is this vision that the company relies on to bring about the right play at the right time to allow the team to succeed.

As a leader are you setting your team up for success? Are you calling the plays that allow your team to win? Are you creating moment and creating confidence in your organization? Success builds confidence and confidence builds more success. Build the confidence of your team and let that momentum carry your business on to victory.

I hope that you enjoyed this article. At ECI Learning Systems LLC we are dedicated to improving productivity and profitability by creating engaged organizations. Our unique combination of training and personalized coaching, combined with our expertise in assessments allow us to create a development plan tailored for your success.

Until next time,

Dave Meyer
ECI Learning Systems, LLC

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