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The Midweek Motivator – Core Meltdowns

The study of self-sabotage may not save broken organizations but it can help us understand how to avoid its devastation. In any company there are inevitable cycles that may eventually turn a once stable and internally empowering group toward dysfunction. Core-cracking occurs when for causatives unseen, reversal starts within the inner circle of key people ultimately leading to decline. Human beings never stay the same. Cores crack and decline for many reasons and can be found in sports dynasties, mega-corporations, and close held media companies. 

A formerly elite organization can crumble for many reasons: drives and personal agendas shift, alliances are formed for the wrong reasons, only to disintegrate then regroup while flying under false colors. Anti-team behavior long dormant or at least kept in check, breaks loose. Regardless of the cause what had been an unselfish team riding high on each other’s contributions turns to bitterness and the dreaded “Disease of Me.” When people go off in their own direction, chasing their own goals and gains, a team is mentally disbanded while production and teammates’ élan’ die a day at a time. Only the best and most engaged leaders bother to recognize the threat and its implication. Dynasties wither, fame flickers, great brands fade to also-rans. 

If you catch it in time, consider these concepts for redirecting a cracking core: 

  • Put a clear value above raking-in money.
  • Do the people charged with achieving your mission share it and are they committed?
  • Is favoritism for certain teammates based on non core values and popularity?
  • Can you adjust quickly for competitive threats and changes? Too many can’t and don’t.
  • Are you subtly overlooking less “glamorous / popular” people out of stereotyping?
  • Does your mission-plan define what’s needed to be the best not just a parity contender?

 When you forget the people and the plans that made your organization or market cluster elite and top-ranked, you’re smothering the flame of productive team behavior. It manifests when unproductive conflict once held in-check suddenly strikes at the heart of teammates’ mutual respect extinguishing the greater goal of “being the best.”.

 When people in your company begin to function as counterfeit renegades it becomes a leadership failure which will take four times as long to contain and regain, than it did to build. Worse, there is no guarantee you’ll ever get it back. 

Success is never final and it’s certainly not automatic. It lasts as long as inner core respect is sustained, hidden agendas are kept in check, and leaders covet their most valuable players (which is everyone).