What can you learn from the outbreak of flag waving fervour to help your business?

Across the country England flags are flying from cars, is this good? What can you learn and adapt from this flag waving to help your team perform better in your business?

Driving round the country at the weekend I could not fail to note the increasing trend for people to display a flag (or in one case SEVENTEEN flags) on their car. This is certainly a growing trend over in the last few years, although not just in England; in 2006 I was in Germany training a blue chip sales team and saw German cars bedecked in flags.

Patriotism, honesty and pub chat.

Patriotism says, of course I would like my country to win the world cup; honesty says I’m not really interested in football (sorry guys). In the pub I  hear many comments about this flag trend. Some people love the idea, some think it’s terrible. What are the discussions you overhear?

Showing support is GOOD??

 Showing some support is certainly generally held to be a good thing. Does demonstrating that you are behind your team help them?

Yes: – Active support encourages and motivates people to perform to the best of their ability. This is certainly a good argument inside a stadium when there is an obvious roar of support for the team, spurring them on to perform. I think it’s safe to say that the team know what they’re expected to do? But how does the earlier flag waving help?

No: – Simply waving flags around makes no real difference to the players on the pitch and is thus a futile gesture. If it just creates interest and raises expectations (with no other support), it doesn’t help. There is an even bigger problem; do you remember the tabloid headlines after teams lost at previous world cups? Raising expectations, then simply complaining after the event is certainly not a good long term strategy. What if there is lots of positive noise (cheering in the stadium), but they need to quietly reflect and think about tactics will the noise simply distract?

So targeted support, with the appropriate follow through, can help to create an atmosphere of success and spur people on.

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What about your business?

Now the interesting part, what about your team at work; how can you adapt this principle?

  • Do you actively and openly support them in a targeted way, or just walk around flag waving?
  • What would targeted support look like for members of your team? For some it’s checking in regularly, ensuring they’re clear on what they are supposed to do; for others it may be more complex. Don’t just assume that they know what they have to do. What would happen if the England team knew they had to score goals (which I hope they do), but some of them didn’t understand the tactics to use when there’s a corner – a recipe for disaster!
  • Is your face after your team have performed a bit like the headlines in some of our papers, disparaging and unpleasant? Do they expect this before they start, or do they know your support will be clearly there after the event, come what may?

What are the one or two things that this article made you think about, how will you adopt them in your business to boost performance?

Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50 employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Have you got your "next step kitbag yet"? It's stuffed with guides, reports & templates helping you grow from 5 to 50 employees Click here for immediate access