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How to Build Momentum and Enable Your Team to Win

At The John Maxwell Company, we train from John’s  21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, and we believe it’s valuable to familiarize yourself with all of them. Today, we’re going to  focus on one law in particular: The law John affectionately calls the “Big Mo”.

The “Big Mo,” momentum, is a leader’s best friend. Depending on which way it’s heading, it either puts the wind at your back…or in your face. And it follows that age-old-rule that an object in motion tends to stay in motion, unless specific actions are taken to change its direction.

So, how can you put momentum to work to accelerate the success of your team? Here are a few tips:

#1: Have the longest view in the room

What is the vision of your organization? Whatever it is, if you want to build momentum around it, then you better become its number one advocate. The vision needs clarity. It needs clarity of purpose and definition—that’s how your team will know how to prioritize their efforts and avoid the distractions of “busy work” tasks.

#2: Build energy

Speaking of busy work, empower your team with the ability to say no. If outside forces are trying to distract your team with tasks that are not part of your core mission, they should feel free to push back against unnecessary distractions. This is how you can raise and maintain the energy level of your team for the tasks that matter. And energy = momentum.

#3: Continue to produce

Once you’ve cleared out the distractions, keep your foot on the gas. If there’s a list of internal tasks, what are the top three? Focus on those and move to the next. In the 5 Levels of Leadership, Level 3 is where a credibility is built as a leader. And that credibility comes from a focus on driving results.

#4: Embrace change

Change creates excitement, and excitement can translate into momentum. Some may resist at first, but if you believe in a change that’s coming, then you need to be waving a flag to build enthusiasm around it. This energy can ultimately feed back into itself, as momentum is also one of the greatest of change agents. When a leader has momentum, initiating change is exponentially easier that trying to force past stagnation.

It all comes back to being proactive versus reactive. As John often says, “managers solve problems, while leaders build momentum.” If you approach problems with a momentum mindset, then you won’t see the problems at all. You will simply see their solution as part of the long-term goal that everyone on your team is targeting together.