Does your team have the energy to succeed? To find out, take this simple test.

Imagine your team is pitted against two other teams in a unique competition: The first team to push a car (in neutral and without the engine running) to the other end of a large parking lot, wins. Your team gets to choose which of three cars it wants to get behind and push:

  • The blue car is rolling backward.
  • The red car is sitting still.
  • The green car is rolling forward.

Which car do you want your team to get behind?

It seems like an easy test to pass; logically, the green car gives your team a strategic advantage because it has forward momentum.

The fact is, your team is given this energy test every day. Here’s how: When an unplanned issue challenges your team, how your team chooses to focus determines the energy it will have to overcome that issue.

Teams that flatline before they reach the finish line function with a problem-orientation to their world; their backward focus creates an experience of having to push against a counter force. Momentum is not on their side.

Teams that succeed first energize themselves around a shared reality by 1) understanding their problem, and 2) collectively functioning with a solutions orientation. They focus forward and are rewarded with an energy needed to go the distance.

Does your team pass the energy test? With the right focus, it will.

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