8 ‘Momentum Killers’ Leaders Must Avoid

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Leadership is all about generating momentum.

Take a static organization or situation and drop an effective leader into the mix and what do you get?


Where you have momentum, and where you have no momentum, it always points towards leadership.

In other words, where you have an effective leader, one of the almost inevitable results is a growing sense of momentum.

That is, unless that leader begins to practice any of these all-too common momentum killers:

1. Over-planning

Planning is necessary. Over-planning will suck the momentum out of your team.

2. Dragging-out decision making

When team needs a decision it’s deadly when no decision can be found. A delayed decision deflates morale.

3. Not communicating results

It’s tragic when the organization actually hits a milestone, and nobody finds out about it. Sharing good news is low-hanging fruit for momentum building.

4. Celebrating trivial matters

If you measure things that don’t matter, pretty soon you’ll be celebrating things that don’t matter. Don’t be side-tracked by irrelevant wins.

5. Not having short-term wins

Grand-slams are exciting, but rare. If you’re waiting for the big home-run ball, you could be waiting for a long time. Recognize short-term wins, and celebrate them when they are achieved.

6. Constantly changing targets

If you’ve ever been on a team that couldn’t seem to stick with a goal, you know how frustrating this is. And you know what a momentum killer it is when the target keeps changing.

7. Re-living past glories

Momentum is built by looking forward. There is a time and place to honor the past, but if you keep retelling the stories of a by-gone era, your momentum will be stuck in its tracks.

8. Re-organizing

One of the first signs of a stalled organization can be obsessive reorganization. If growth is causing you to shake things up, go for it. But don’t allow yourself to be caught in constant re-orgs.

John Maxwell describes momentum as “a leader’s best friend”. Because, as Maxwell points out, when you have momentum everything gets exaggerated, in a positive way.

So make sure your leadership efforts are indeed creating forward momentum.

And your first step could be to be sure you are avoiding these momentum killers.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Lifelong learner, practitioner and coach of leadership, across more than 50 countries. Follower of Jesus, husband of Nora, grateful parent and grandparent.

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