What Impact Does the Past Have on the Future for your Team?

Last week spent the week on the road, facilitating high-performance team events and ran our bi-annual Empowering Women in Leadership event in QLD.

Face to face and discussing the challenges and opportunities across teams, once again reminded me, not to overlook the basics.

And funnily enough, this week, wrote a blog for our School’s Coming community and thought it would be quite apt to share the crossover…

Now, you may be wondering adults/high-performing team and kids/starting school, what on earth do they have in common?

Well, you’d be surprised how much.

It all starts in the formative years.

The early and very important years, when kids develop the crucial life skills that will be either helping or hindering them later in life.

Now here’s the thing, children & adults will absolutely have their innate personality. That means they’re born that way. Certain qualities & tendencies that shape and influence who they are and how they react and respond.

Yet it doesn’t define them, neither is it ever an excuse for who they are now or who they can be or become.

They’ll also have been very shaped by their environments, influenced by what was important to parents, empowered by attitudes and beliefs that came as well from parents, carers, peers, teachers, coaches etc.

So what happens now, if you’re working with adults who may (or may not) have been given the helping hand and development they needed back then and you’re seeing the impact now?

Maybe there was parental overcompensation, lack of delegation or total independence, no support provided, the helicopter influence, bigger egos overpowering little ones.

A multitude of scenarios in those formative years may have happened, then when they were teenagers and then into their 20’s, 30’s and beyond.

And now, you can see the impact.


However I re-iterate, everyone has done the best they could with the resources they had and have now, up until this very point.

So keep in mind, when you’re working with your team:

Are they lacking skills or needing to work on developing the ability to?

– Think for themselves
– Show initiative
– Follow a routine
– Be organised
– Prioritise their time
– Understand what’s important
– Care for themselves & others
– Manage their “Stuff” physical & non-physical
– Ask for help
– Take feedback
– Handle overwhelm and pressure
– Multi-task
– Self-gauge their language, tone and delivery
– Step up to challenges

And so much more. It comes from when they’re very little.

You may well be needing to pick up the pieces and some days it totally tests your metal. (And sends you mental).

Because you feel like you’re needing to be mother & father for adults who weren’t taught differently when they were young.

And to a degree you are, and you aren’t.

It is not your job to parent now. They are adult.

However, it is your job to empower and educate.

Be the change you’d like to see.
Fighting fire with fire, won’t work.
Be the love and nurture needed.
Be the firm and patient leader required.
Be the constructive and inspiring mentor.

Sometimes it’s easier to stop delegating and do it yourself.

Sometimes it’s simpler to not say anything.

It absolutely keeps the peace, however, does it create a thriving and flourishing team environment that is growing at getting better at managing conflict, overcoming challenges and reaping the rewards?

Probably not.

It keeps everyone comfy and ok with the status quo.

It creates complacency.

Likely stagnation.

Certainly not high-performance.

That takes energy.

More on the energy that takes next week.

Until then, remember, our THEN doesn’t create our NOW, as our now doesn’t mean the FUTURE.

Change is possible.

High-performing teams are that because they have team-work, initiative and self-awareness. They understand their strengths and where the gaps are they need to work on or support each other with. They have role descriptions and systems to help the entire team. Not 1 person attempting to do it all or be all things to everyone.

So if by chance you’ve taken on that role of doing it all…

And maybe, because it is quicker and simpler to do it, rather than stand your ground and make the time to teach them what they need to know and do now…

Then please STOP.

Stop and think about how much it matters NOW and for LATER.

Breath and remember, it matters a lot.

They have the capability and are probably way more competent that you’ve given them credit for yet.

And perhaps if there are some patterns of behaviour within the team unit that aren’t ideal… they can be changed.

Tweak and improve. It’s possible for the whole team to make some small changes, that will help bring about a high-performing team.

This could be the line in the sand moment for you…?

Genevieve (Pro-team) Matthews




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