Creating a winning attitude

People love winning – winning starts with having a team and individuals equipped with a winning attitude. As wins accumulate, the team will feel more confident and build momentum. As a leader, it’s crucial to cultivate that mindset deliberately.

Creating a winning attitude starts with you. Show a willingness to work hard towards the objectives set by the team and company. Make sure that your contributions towards the goals are clear.

As a leader, you must believe that the objectives are worth it. You shouldn’t question the mission and goals of the company/team in front of your team. If you have doubts, how do you expect people working for you to follow?

Have a positive attitude towards the mission and goals. Make sense of the mission and repeat how important you believe it is. Show one or multiple paths to hit the goals and emphasize how it can be done instead of delving into how it could fail.

You must set goals and standards that your team has a chance of hitting. If the goals are too high, the team will be set for failure; the team will know it can’t win and won’t try.

Repeat the goals in front of the team often. Have a public scoreboard showcasing the progress towards that goal. The team should know the skills and next move required to hit the next milestone to get to the goal.

If possible, create healthy competition between teams to reach the objective. For example, if multiple paths exist to achieve the goals that multiple teams can contribute to, set up a challenge for whoever helps the most between the two groups.

Teamwork is crucial, but make sure to acknowledge individuals as well. Congratulate team members when they go out of their way to help achieve goals. Reward high performance as soon as you notice. Other leaders can help you point out high performance if you ask them to point out when one of your team members does something.

Work to get your team publicly recognized by the greater organization for its contribution. All hands, board meetings, and public channels are great places to highlight what your team has done.

Allow people to showcase their skills outside of the regular cadence of your organization. Hackdays, brownbags allow employees to excel in skills they learned in a different context.

Finally, create pride in your organization and team's “story.” Every company has a story of humble and scrappy beginnings. Use these stories to contrast the past with today; a powerful story is a force multiplier in creating a winning attitude in people. There’s pride and energy in seeing the work required to get to where we are.

Startups have the advantage of a short history; make use of it.

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