4 Ways to Build Teams That Pull You into the Future

Leaders lean in when I talk about teams with pull. We’ve all been on teams that needed to be pushed. How do you create pull?

You can’t create the future with a team you have to push.

The future is built by the people who pull you there and the weights you throw out on the way.

If you want teams that pull:

#1. Turn attention to the future. The past is magnetic. The present is urgent.

Pressing issues blind teams to the future. The future ends up neglected.

Nudge teams toward conversations about the future:

  1. What happens if we forget pressing issues for a moment and turn forward? Now what?
  2. How are we building the future? The only way to predict the future is to build it.
  3. How might these ideas turn us toward the future?
  4. What ideas are most forward-facing? How?
  5. What does our future look like, if we continue on this course?
  6. Who holds us back?
  7. Who strains forward? How might we maximize them?

#2. Set near-term goals. Listen for dead-weight language like, “We’re going to work on this next month.” Yes, plan future work. But focus on goals you can act on today.

It’s a waste of talent to focus on goals they can’t work on until next week.

#3. Define winning.  Progress is a potent elixir that fuels vitality. Winning ignites hope and inspires confidence.

At the end of the day, your team should know if they won, lost, or ran in place.

#4. Don’t keep asking people to work harder. Working harder is not a sustainable long-term strategy. Yes, hard work is rewarding.

When you constantly expect more out of people, they give more for awhile, but they end up giving less.

Which of these ideas could you put into practice today?

How might leaders build pull into their teams?