There's a scene in "Bull Durham" where the frustrated manager reminds his team about the basics of baseball. "This is a simple game. You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball. You got it?" He went on to say a few other choice words, but I edited them out.
What was he attempting to do? Let's consider: motivation, clarification of objectives, and call to action. These are things that many leaders in business do from time to time.
Getting back to basics in business is a great thing to do from time to time. It's a grounding exercise that ensures that leadership and the team are all aligned and working at peak performance levels.
Every now and then even the best teams need a little extra nudge. There's many different ways people attempt to do this. Some are more effective than others.
I worked in one company where the senior leader would scream at the top of his lungs at people when he was upset. His face would turn purple and his veins would pop. The fascinating part of these exchanges is that as soon as it was over, he would revert back to a soft-spoken, pleasant gentleman.
Does that remind you of a famous character?
I would make the following recommendations:
* You don't have to be a screaming maniac to be an effective leader. The Golden Rule of treating others the way you would want to get treated seems like an important thing to remember.
* Consistency is a good thing. People want to know what or who to expect.
* Work with your team. Share their experiences, successes and failures.
* Mentor your team. Make sure that learning experiences and personal growth are part of the journey.
* Give credit to your team. They are the essence of the business delivery.
There are several types of leaders out there. Different styles work for different people.
Remember the rowing scene from "Moby Dick"? There were three boats, three leaders and three teams. All had the same objective in mind. Get to the whale first.
I believe that all leaders need to have a 360-degree review of their impact and approach within an organization to ensure the greatest success.
A leadership audit is another way of thinking about it and may be something to do from time to time.
Clarification of objectives
As business evolves, conditions change. Sometimes teams even get complacent.
I've even seen situations where upon reviewing a business condition, we asked, "Why did we do that then?"
Once I had a team huddle where I talked to my team about complacency and how fragile success was. I talked about each role in the organization and how we all needed one another for success.
I illustrated the conversation with a raw egg. The symbolism was how no one wanted to be responsible for dropping the egg as it was tossed from person to person. The egg survived intact.
So just like the baseball manager, sometimes we need to restate what would appear to be the obvious. A reminder about the fundamentals of your business goes a long way. The foundations are built from excellent products, sales, customer service and employee engagement. Strong financial performance is the ultimate result.
Call to action
Assuming you have a good leadership style and have clarified objectives, you need to create the "call to action." Where does the team go from here? How does the team engage in the newfound energy and focus?
Certainly, every leader needs to find that for themselves and their team. Knowing the chemistry, dynamics and skills of your team is mandatory.
Thinking back to the rowing scene from "Moby Dick," we're all in the boat together and it helps to row in the same direction.