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Updated: Jan 18


Leaders are rising to the challenge of creating cohesive teams focused on a common goal. The solution starts with developing a set of shared values that outline HOW the team will achieve that goal. Leaders must face this every day, taking on dysfunctional teams who are misaligned culturally, unclear of the objectives, or simply selfish teammates. We have all witnessed levels of dysfunction usually rooted in the leader's inability to attract the right talent, set the expectations, and create a culture where people hold themselves accountable to the team standards. The worst of these situations require a turnaround specialist to pivot the company and support the team driving a successful outcome. The speed at which these leaders move an otherwise perpetually underperforming business is fascinating to watch unfold. Mantras are a distinctive tool expert turnaround leaders utilize with efficiency.

What is a mantra?

Mantras are a super hack connecting the team vision, mission, and core values to the everyday events (read: conflicts) in the business. Every business has friction around what the owner wants, what the customer wants, and what each team member wants. Experienced leaders know that mantras are the keystone leadership behavior that establishes the boundaries of their culture to navigate these conflicts.

Why are mantras effective?

Psychology has proven humans act in their best interest 40% of the time. A large portion of the 60% of negative actions is baked into humans' subconscious behavior patterns. Put another way - the negative behavior is unintentional. Raising people's awareness of their actions' broader impact is a great start. Work-life balance and Customer First core values require a persistent, vigilant message to navigate. A consistent communication framework around these situations will comfort people in otherwise stressful conditions. 

Extrovert Leaders: We talk too much. Our overly verbose communication style often loses the critical message, leaving people confused. The crisp nature of mantras is a welcome method of communication.

Introvert Leaders: Mantras create a beautiful framework for leaders to develop their voice and leadership style. Developing leaders learn how best to hold people accountable through dealing with conflict resolution situations. 

What are 3 guidelines for creating your own mantras?

Simplicity: Humans respond to simple, positive, impactful messages. If you can make them rhyme, more power to you.

Team Standards: The objective is to reinforce the team standards that everyone has accepted. "Attack standards and values, not people." Yes, this is a favorite leadership mantra of mine. 

Authenticity: Be genuine. A leader's actions are 10x more powerful than their words. Quickly shed any mantras you are not actioning or are no longer authentic to the company culture. 

Hire Smarter best practice: The best President candidates are constantly refining their list of trademark mantras. Leaders must be able to evangelize their mission. What are your signature mantras?

Hire Smarter™– Tony 

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