After a failed project, many teams simply move forward to the next one, without a postmortem. This is a huge mistake. It’s important that you seize those failures and mistakes and turn them into growth moments for your team. Otherwise, people are likely to commit the same mistakes again. Some of the biggest coaching opportunities you’ll have are in the moments when an individual or the team has failed.
If you lead a team of people, you have the responsibility to keep your flame burning bright and hot. Yes, you can still do your job for a while without inspiration, but eventually your team will catch on to the fact that you’re not really smoking what you’re selling, and they’ll start to wonder whether their sacrifices are really worth it.
Because cultures are grown, you must treat yours like a garden. Just like a good gardener, you aggressively fertilize the aspects of your team’s culture that you want in abundance and diligently prune the things you want to get rid of. This requires constant attention on your part, because if you allow a few errant behaviors to slide, you will eventually find your entire garden choked with weeds.
What do it really take for teams to produce brilliant, creative work over and over? Is it just talent? Is it the result of having a vibrant, fun culture? Or, maybe it’s just sheer will and hustle? While all of those things play a part, none of them are sufficient to sustain great work over time. There are two things that are more important.
What does it take for a team to produce consistently brilliant creative work? Just talent? A fun and vibrant culture? Sheer will? Actually, in “create on demand” organizations the answer is often something else. Something surprising.
I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for over two years. It’s with (barely contained) joy that I get to announce that my new book Herding Tigers: Be The Leader That Creative People Need is just two weeks from release.