Tag Archives: New Job

321…Watch You Back!

Why 1/3 of Your Team May Be Out to Get You!

My experience leading teams has been (select one):

  • An uplifting, collaborative exploration of what’s possible?  
  • A soul-crushing, lonely exercise in futility?

Unfortunately, your chances of selecting either of these answers is about 50/50.

A friend of mine has recently taken the reins of an international sales organization. Despite the fact that she’s seasoned, capable and world-class smart — she’s starting to question herself and her team leadership experience could go either way.

My advice?

Think 3, Win 2, Turn 1…. 

Think 3: Think of your team as having 3 sub-groups (which one are you?)

  • People that make things happen. Positive optimists, willing to give you a try
  • People that stop things from happening. Nay-saying pessimists, programmed to resist change
  • People that wonder what happened. Neutral observers, that go with the flow.

Win 2: Focus on winning the hearts and minds of 2 sub-groups

  • Make a list of which team members belong in each group
  • Solidify your base by aligning with visible, vocal and influential optimists
  • Find social and political links to start bringing neutrals into your new coalition.

Turn 1: With the balance of power shifting to your favor, it’s time to put it over the top

  • Identify the most visible, vocal and influential nay-sayers
  • Move nay-sayings into the “pro-you” column by authentically helping her/him become successful
  • Nay-sayer support has a cascading effect that will shore up your support for fence-sitting neutrals.

In a nutshell:
If you want to make a mark.
If you believe there has to be a better way.
If you think today’s best is simply a starting point for tomorrow.
Make the 321 Rule part of your leadership strategy.
If your goal is stay below the radar.
If you desire to keep doing exactly what was done yesterday.
You don’t need to worry too much about the 321 Rule,
but remember to
Watch Your Back!

Personal note: to my new-sales-leader friend halfway around the world, you are such a ROCK STAR! Now go 321 your team so the rest of the world can see it too!

As always, don’t hesitate to share your own thoughts and experiences about team leadership with me, directly at Jeff@jeffkaplan.com

Stay connected,

-Jeff