Have you watched Ted Lasso? I was late to the party, but I’m glad I finally showed up. There is something magical about how Ted focuses on creating an environment for his team to grow. And once they grow… they start to win. What’s the environment before Ted arrives? Everyone was focused on their performance, and they lived in fear of being traded, fired, criticized, and even having the entire team relegated. A performance focused environment creates rigid goals, hard expectations, and often has a bent toward punishment for failure. Your team needs time to explore ideas and play with possibilities. read my blog on “Playing with Possibilities” here. And you, as the leader, need to create that environment.
Why is a performance based culture wrong?
The following is a list of actions people make in a performance based culture;
- They operate out of fear. Fear of criticism, punishment, or losing rank & authority
- People only make safe decisions. No risk means no punishment
- They are less creative. There will be an unspoken limit on creativity because they know what decisions are safe
- Your team will not seek feedback. Feedback will only point out the areas that put their job at risk
- And there will only be winners and losers.
Why should we create a Growth Culture?
A growth culture means everyone is there to improve together. A mantra I embraced as a theater director; Progress over performance.
How do we create a Growth Culture?
In a Harvard Business Review article (linked below) author Tony Schwartz suggests these tactics;
- Be vulnerable… from the top down. You as a leader need to be vulnerable about your shortcomings
- Be curious. Learn from your team by asking questions.
- Experiment. Embrace ideas, especially ones that challenge the status quo, for a set limited time
- Share feedback. To and from everyone at all levels.
- Embrace a mindset shift to grow and get better together.
Here’s the crazy little twist; One you embrace a growth environment over a performance one, you’ll start to see better performance.