Every significant project that you undertake will transform every team member by the end of that project. The right project and the right team will lift every team member up. This is unavoidable and has to be dealt with.
If you are leading the project, you have a huge influence (in turn, a huge responsibility) on the lives of individual team members of the project. In fact, you determine the location of the “fulcrum” of this project lever.
[Note: A lever has three parts – effort arm, fulcrum and resistance arm. Generally speaking, you can do more work with the lever if the fulcrum is closer to the resistance arm]
In the schematic above, there are two projects that are similar to each other. If you are a better leader than Bob, you move the “fulcrum” farther away (closer to the resistance arm) – resulting in lifting your team members higher than Bob’s team members.
However, the leader is not the only person who has a say on the position of the fulcrum. Every team member (with reasonable influence) will help to move the fulcrum to left or right or hold it in the same place. As a leader, you have to get help from people who are trying to move the fulcrum towards the resistance arm and fight (in a nice way) with people who are trying to move the fulcrum away from the resistance arm.
Imagine a dream team – where every team member participates to move the fulcrum towards the resistance arm. Life would be fun there.
Whether you are a leader or a team member, think about your own team today. Is the fulcrum moving in the right direction? If not, what are you doing today to move it in the right direction?