Any elite athlete in any sport, whether team or individual, that has achieved greatness defined as winning championships, competing at an elite level, including the Olympics, and has been rewarded with the accolades that prove their performance, understood the distinction between good and great. Many entrepreneur owners and entrepreneurial-minded corporate executives would like to capture this “lightning in a bottle” to achieve greatness. There are actions you can take to create the foundation for greatness. Keep in mind that inspiration precedes perspiration; to tap into the talent of your entire team, be intentional with the following methods.

#1 Lead by example

“I trained 4 years to run only 9 seconds. There are people who do not see results in 2 months, give up and leave. Sometimes failure is sought by oneself.” – Usain Bolt

A great leader never asks others to do what they would not (or do not) do themselves. That means that our teams must see us practice our craft, stumble, course-correct, and then grow. By demonstrating how one solicits feedback, whether from team members, an executive business coach, or both, living the ‘growth mindset’ is a clear example that nothing worthwhile is ever easy.  Showing up every day, with intentional focus, humility, and confidence demonstrates to all what the standard for mindset and momentum is in our organization. Leaders may eat last, yet they leap first.

#2 Inspire responsibility and provide autonomy

“Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.” – Daniel H. Pink, Author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

We are hard-wired for independent thought and collective belonging. We want to be able to make decisions for ourselves and serve a larger purpose. We enjoy having others count on us to deliver and counting on others to do the same – in both cases with distinction. This is the essence of creating an atmosphere where the individual genius can be nurtured, developed, grown, and strengthened all within an ecosystem of trust. This so-called ‘magic’ that the best teams possess, whether in athletics or business, is not really magic. It is an intended result of articulating a clear set of shared values, agreeing on the mission of the organization, and providing support so that all can be their best individually and collectively.  Actions and words are congruent and every one is 100% on the same page.

#3 Encourage happiness

“Your brain at positive is 31 percent more productive than your brain at negative.” – Shawn Achor

There are many ways to validate and justify a positive and happy atmosphere in your workplace. The science actually proves that there is a measurable difference in output, efficiency, and accuracy, not to mention that most people likely agree that feeling ‘happy’ is preferred to being stressed, anxious, and distraught while working. Encouraging your team members to ENJOY themselves while working, specifically to enjoy both what they are doing and have gratitude for those they do it with, builds upon number two above. Interdependence is critical to our talent as well as our positive mental state. Your best people are more likely to stay when they see you acting as a role model, able to be autonomous while growing in their skillset, and are happy while doing it. 

#4 Set clear goals

“Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.” – Brene Brown

Last but certainly not least is to be clear… about everything, including goals. All too often, a team that struggles is often doing so because they are so busy being ‘nice’ to each other that there are many unsaid issues. Unsaid issues are unresolved issues left to fester, grow, and disrupt as they take a life of their own. In every engagement of every type, we work to Discover those items that are causing friction, Discuss them thoroughly in order to uncover the root, and Dissolve them permanently with agreed-upon action. You may be wondering why I mentioned Issues before Goals; it’s the ounce of prevention that is indeed worth more than the pound of cure. Having a path of resolution, you can now set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Miss, any element and the goal are, well, not smart. SMART goals communicated to every team member allow all to then row in the same direction.


If you would like to explore how working together can move your team to greatness, let’s begin by meeting one another to see if we click (15 minutes, no strings attached). If by chance we’ve met or you’re ready to seriously kick tires, then the Breakthrough Strategy Session is for you. We will spend 90 minutes together to debrief your Talent Dynamics Profile, establish a Business Plan outline using the Leader’s Cut Mindset & Momentum tool, and demonstrate what a complete coaching experience looks, sounds, and feels like. You will leave this complimentary session knowing which offer serves your need and if I am the coach to deliver for you. Again, no strings attached.

Ken Kilday is an Entrepreneur, Executive Business Coach, Business Strategist, and LinkedIn Expert.

Let’s Talk

Check Out More Articles From Our Blog

Skip to content