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Taking Over a Low Morale Team

A high morale team will not necessarily save a bad strategy, but a low morale team will most likely destroy a good strategy.

Unhappy, angry, and apathetic. It is not unusual that a brand new leader walks into an unhappy, angry or apathetic team. What that new leader does early will often determine the trajectory of that team and that new leader’s career.

Sometimes a new leader follows a leader everyone loved and admired. But just as often new leaders walk into bad situations created by the previous leader. Many times, if the last leader had done things better, the new leader wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to lead the team.

What do you do if you are the new leader and everyone on the team is unhappy, angry, or worse – apathetic?

Get To Know Them

Don’t rely on what you think you know about them. You might hear rumors, or the previous leader might send you personnel files. Put those aside and start from a clean slate. Let each person know they have an opportunity to start fresh. Ask about their families, their past accomplishments, and their future aspirations. I always took notes and reviewed them before each conversation, until I remembered their details without needing the notes. They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Let them know you care about them as individuals by taking the time to get to know them.

Establish A Feedback Loop