When does apathy become such a liability to a team that someone will wake up, take notice, and do something about it?
When a team is formed to accomplish any task, the most important component is that ‘they learn to play nice together’ regardless of their personal feelings and agendas. There is no room on a team for a ‘cowboy’ or ‘cowgirl’ who is more willing to put the team at risk than they are to ensure the success of the initiative. There are days as a project manager that you let the team go their own way because ‘when the team members are fighting each other, everyone else is safe’. To be frank, it is appalling that individuals let the in-fighting continue because they would rather sit back and watch the fallout than take action. Apathy not empathy reigns.
Whether a team is a project team, a political team, a business team, a sports team or a team formed to build an outhouse, it is critical that the various agendas, needs and wants are developed into a single vision that can be used to answer the most vital question to a team member – “What is in it for me?”.
The golden nugget for today is ‘If a leader, regardless of situation, wants to ensure that others will follow him / her, they must be able to communicate a vision where each individual can find a piece that applies to them.’ A vision won’t solve all the problems but it will certainly go a long way to ensuring that the team members know what the goal is, what objectives must be met and what each member must contribute to ensure success.
If you aren’t willing to do that as a leader, project or other, you will need to wait for success until WalMart starts selling spines over the counter. In fact, an apathetic leader or manager is the most useless person on the team.