This is what’s taking place on the average team: Sally is a strong contributor, but she doesn’t give her “A” game because Ted drives her crazy. Ted is average, and he refuses to give his “great” effort until John quits taking all the credit. John’s pretty good at what he does, but he refuses to “raise the bar” until… you guessed, Sally brings her “A” game.
This affair of “conditional effort” is a HUGE “elephant in the office” (and frankly marriages, as well).
Are you “all in” or not? It’s safe to say that most people live and lead with “conditional effort”. These are people who withhold their best ideas and the discretionary effort. They focus on what they are not getting from their colleagues and the company for which they work. And they often have a “people never change’ mentality.
“Conditional effort” people have, well, conditioned themselves to a ho-hum life. And isn’t it ironic: They commit to giving the conditional effort to protect themselves from being hurt, but in the end, it’s their commitment to mediocrity that limits them.
Unconditional leaders know that it’s their decision to experience the exhilarating feeling of living and leading full-on. “The reward for giving the unconditional effort is as rewarding as my paycheck, if not more so,” shares a friend, Tim. “It’s also the only way I can ensure that every day is a great day – because I determine my effort.”
It’s trite, but true. One person can make a tremendous change. On the team above, the moment Sally or Ted or John change their conditioned approach – is the moment the team delivers a breakthrough.
Who do you work with that has affected your effort? Change that now.
“Conditional effort” thinkers believe life is like a game of chess. But it’s not: Because in leadership, it’s always our move.
Where will you lead – where will you stomp elephants – today?