Ambiguity leads to complacency

Complacency and lack of urgency within a work environment are poor reflections on leadership. Most people want to be a part of something bigger than just their individual selves. People want to be contributing to a “winning team”.  Such desire to attach and contribute to something great is what has allowed us as humans to accomplish extraordinary feats.

What stands in the way of a team doing great things is poor leadership that lacks clear vision, goals and direction. Such failings create ambiguity within the work environment in which team members are unclear about their roles and the overall direction of the team. This is NOT the environment of a “winning team”, but rather one of complacency and a lack of urgency.

Leaders often make the organizational vision and goals too complex or too general. People tend to react best to simple and tangible. For example, nothing galvanizes groups together faster than an external threat. This is true at a national level during war time, or at a family level when a family member becomes very ill. Equally, people pull together during moments of great accomplishments such as when the astronauts first landed on the moon. The goals in these cases are clear and simple.

Leaders, therefore, need to have clear, tangible goals which can be measured. And they must create an organization that can effectively communicate these goals. Once everyone is clear on how their roles contribute to the overall team goals, complacency should no longer be an issue.