Have you ever had your team reach a big milestone and you find the group feels deflated, lacks motivation and is apathetic about achieving the next goal?

I find most leaders explain this away by saying things like, “well they worked really hard for this goal” or “we burned the candles at both ends.” In truth there is a simpler answer but it is often overlooked.

Matter-of-fact when I share it with you, you will see why many teams like the Vikings under Bud Grant could make it to the Super Bowl but could never WIN the Super Bowl.

By the time you arrive at the achievement of the goal you have already expected to reach it. That means the expectation has already worked in to your brain as a foregone conclusion so achieving it no longer brings joy. Matter-of-fact achievement of it can often bring frustration because achievement of the goal often brings more work and responsibility.

This is why you often see sales people sabotage their own sales success because if they reach their quota next year they will be “penalized” with an even higher sales goal.

So how do you get past this? What are some steps you, as a leader, can take to help the group continue to grow?

It is really important that while setting large team goals you keep your strategic communication with the team focused on intrinsic goals that will great their own rewards as well as extrinsic goals for the team.

  1. To do this create an “atmosphere of growth.” This atmosphere of growth will help the team focus on the intrinsic reward they get from continually improving the quality and quantity of what you do as a team. This atmosphere of growth will help the good feeling stay longer.
    As you get close to achieving that goal start talking with the team about the next stretch goal and how you will celebrate the achievement of the current goal.
  2. As a leader you need to think about how to help the group manage and mitigate the extra work or responsibility that can come with their team success so they don’t try to sabotage their own success as a team.
  3. Work on getting them visibility in the organization for their continued improvement and the impact it has on the company.

Three simple steps you can do to keep the group motivated and encouraged. So can you now see one of the reasons why the Vikings didn’t ever win the Super Bowl? Bud Grant always set the goal of the group to GET TO the Super Bowl. This meant that once they got in the play offs apathy entered their mind as they already had their good feelings generated by getting to the Super Bowl rather than winning the Super Bowl.