There is an inevitability in business, one that we cannot control but we can manage. This inevitable variable is the passage of time. With the passage of time, we can become complacent, uninspired and so caught up in our day-to-day tasks that we lose sight of the energy and focus that brought us here in the first place. You can feel when this happens, it hangs in the air like a thick, choking cloud of smog. Walking around the office, you can sense the energy drain. When this happens, I know it’s time to bring back inspiration.
A lot of influences and variables get thrown at you, as a leader, on the way to realizing your vision for your business. Often, you’ll find yourself veering from the initial track, tackling related but separate projects. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as many things need to get done on the way to success. There will a come a point though where you’ll stop and look around and feel that you’ve lost the focus just a bit, which means your team probably has as well. To get them and yourself back on track, you’ll have to track down the innovative spirit that got you here in the first place.
The growth of your company isn’t a straight line, it’s an evolution that keeps changing shape, scope and tone. While your vision might remain the same, building to that point can take many different forms. Remembering and adhering to a plan is never a constant variable. Rather, there will be deviations and changes in the path. Yet, your vision is your vision and provides a constant light of focus in the distance, one that you and your team can look forward to. It might be time to remind yourself and everyone of that.
Through team building exercises or just simply having a group conversation, you can help to refocus your team on what they are working toward. They might feel stagnant or task-oriented, remind them you are always looking for innovation and creativity. Develop learning and continuing education plans that demonstrate your investment in their future, within or outside your company. This helps to keep the creativity flowing and inspires trust in your team.
Growth is not always an inevitability and your team might be feeling like not enough of it has happened lately. If the conditions aren’t right for physical or brand growth, there are other ways to inspire your team through growth. Implement new programs for team collaboration to find new ways to enhance current business processes. Hold off-site research meetings to evaluate a new business or strengthen the bonds of current business. Show your team that you are inspired daily to not only grow within the confines of the classical definition of it but also within the boundaries of current policies and procedures. Being open to change is a strong inspirational tool in the office.
The bottom line is that if you are invested in your business and working to effectively show your team that you are still inspired on a daily basis, they will behave as such. Your team takes their cues from their leadership, and while they may find creativity and innovation on their own (one hopes they do, often), it is up to you to inspire and lead them down that path. There are many simple methods to inspire this kind of working environment, but the most effective one is returning to the vision that got you this far, focusing on that and pushing toward shared goals that will achieve that vision. Your vision is the true inspiration, don’t leave it behind.