Inspirational Infusion

#103 — October 1, 2017

It's never too late to be who you might have been…

— George Eliot

Greetings, Inspired Travelers!

Last month I offered some suggestions to engage and inspire your top performers. Alas, there is always the other end of the spectrum - those team members who act as if they would really like to be on another team. So, how to help them achieve that goal and save you both from further heartache? …

There is a difference between employees that are under-performers and those who are intentionally sabotaging your efforts, and they require different approaches. For the under-achievers, there may be hope.

1. Clarify. As the leader, you must ensure that all team members are perfectly clear on goals and the instructions they need to complete them. Spend the time to re-train, re-fresh and re-focus.

2. Insist. Standards, deadlines and results are required in the workplace and must be adhered to. These boundaries and expectations make it easy for everyone to achieve the expected outcomes in a way that supports the team and the departmental responsibility. As the leader, you are responsible for holding others accountable.

3. Protect. The leader is responsible for the team. The whole team. Make certain that under-achievers understand how their work impacts others as well as the business results for the department. Always abide by the disciplinary rules of your organization but, that being said, I am a believer in 3 warnings and then … they are telling you they don't want to be on the team. Believe them!

Saboteurs, on the other hand, are a different story. These are the individuals who are actively derailing your efforts. Direct attention is needed:

1. Confront. Address the issue directly with the individual and explain that this behavior will not be tolerated. Sometimes, when confronted, the problem ceases and these individuals actually perform.

2. Manage. The problem requires the attention and time of the leader. Change up the work load, shift responsibilities, narrow the scope of responsibility and protect the team.

3. Terminate. If you must. This is a sad conclusion but, at times, the only alternative. Follow your corporate guidelines, attend to details and release them to the wider world with grace and professionalism. These individuals are energy draining and sap the life out of the whole department. Your team deserves better. So do your clients. So does your business.

Maintaining the wholeness of the team for the highest good of all is not for the faint of heart. But, that's why you're the leader. People believe in you. Take a breath. Prepare. Lean in. Ask for help when you need it. You can do this!

Be magnificent! Have an Inspirational Day!


At InspirationInProgress we help leaders create, inspire and maintain high-performing teams that are engaged, productive and fun to be a part of. Give us a call at 215 260 1611 or drop a line at to see how we can support you.