When you start making everything more visible (both results and behaviors) within the team, you start to drive peer pressure within the team too. Some leaders don’t like peer pressure as they don’t feel they will not be able to handle the possible conflict that could come with it.
Have the courage to make results and behaviors visible.
However, the best leaders have the courage to create the peer pressure and here are a few reasons why.
1. All the Pressure Doesn’t Come from You!
First, one key question: If you do not have any peer pressure within your team, where does all the pressure have to come from? That’s right, YOU. If you need to be around all the time to apply the right pressure to get things done, then you cannot be focused on the future and helping your team do what’s necessary to deliver it. So, why should all the pressure come from you…when you can create an environment where everyone in the team either doesn’t want to let their team members down or doesn’t want to tarnish their own reputation by not delivering.
2. People Focus on Keeping their Reputation
Your people (especially your best ones) want to build (and at least keep) their reputation. When you make results visible and create peer pressure, your people will do whatever it takes to deliver them or their own reputation takes a hit. Some leaders don’t make results visible because they don’t trust their people to always deliver, and they don’t want their own reputation taking a hit. You need to be willing to take a few dents in your reputation (by making results visible and creating peer pressure) or your people will never take full ownership of what you are asking them to deliver. Reputation and pride go together, so creating peer pressure is another way of creating team pride.
3. See Who Really Wants to Take Responsibility
Visibility and peer pressure creates an environment where your people cannot hide, both from you and their team members. You get to see very quickly which of your people really take ownership for delivering and which don’t deliver and often are making excuses why they couldn’t. From my own experience, not everyone wants to take full responsibility, and peer pressure helps you to identify them faster too.
You cannot create the right peer pressure without the courage to make results and behaviors visible across the team. That’s why creating the environment and the right peer pressure always starts with you…the leader.