5 Powerful Strategies that Strengthen Teams

Discouraged people have hearts like water and knees like butter.

The ability to rise is about you, not the challenge.

7 causes of discouragement:

  1. Hard work with no or slow progress.
  2. Disappointed expectation. A lost promotion, for example.
  3. Misguided leaders who notice bad like it’s an Olympic sport.
  4. Big wins followed by nitpicking. Enjoy imperfect success for a day or two.
  5. Living with the consequences of bad decisions.
  6. Being humbled, especially when you hoped to be honored.
  7. Pulling the rope alone. Everyone needs a with.

You’re confused if you believe tearing down improves performance .

Strengthen the discouraged. Don’t shoot the wounded.

7 simple factors in high performance:

  1. Joy, not disappointment.
  2. Strength, not weakness.
  3. Values, not external pressure.
  4. Confidence, not insecurity.
  5. Support, not criticism.
  6. Boldness, not fear.
  7. Coaching, not directing.

5 powerful strategies that strengthen teams:

Strong people go further than weak.

#1. Know that people with weaknesses achieve great things – because of strengths, not because of weakness. (When strengths don’t match job requirements reassign, retrain, or remove.)

Don’t let people’s weaknesses obscure their strengths.

#2. Manage your own energy. You eventually loose the ability to encourage others when your knees constantly feel like butter.

Discouraged leaders become faultfinders.

#3. Focus on what might be, more than what used to be. Remember disappointment enough to learn. Otherwise, have a short memory when it comes to failure.

#4. Understand a few small wins today is better than a big win next week. How might you design and notice progress in daily work?

#5. Realize the ability to rise is more about people than challenges. Talk about people more than challenges.


I reconnected with a leader who doesn’t care for shallow encouragement. But I sent a text after our conversation. “I enjoyed seeing you this morning.” He was encouraged.

Kindness strengthens.

What makes people feel weak?

How might leaders make people feel strong?

Added reading:

9 Super Effective Ways to Motivate Your Team (Inc)

What Not to Do When You’re Trying to Motivate Your Team (HBR)