Posted by: Mark Sorenson | April 27, 2009

The Weak Links

The last post talked about one of the lessons I learned during my first summer as the sales manager of a pest control office.

The second major lesson I learned during my first summer as a leader and manager is called the law of the weakest link. This states that the team is only as strong as its weakest link and that the overall production of the team will be anchored by the production of the worst producer on the team.

As a leader, I saw the best in everyone. I thought everyone had enough personal drive to be as ambitious as I was. The problem was when it became clear that some members of my team didn’t have a lot of personal drive or ambition, I still treated them like they did. Those people became my weak links. They were either unable or unwilling to perform the tasks that were expected of them.

Instead of drawing clear expectations for what they were to do and give them a time frame to do it in, I strung them along until it seemed to everyone else on the team that I was incapable of taking care of business. The team was already being negatively affected by having to work with these weak links, and because I didn’t cut them out, it sent the message that it was okay to be a weak link. Furthermore, the weak links became rotten apples; spreading their rot and bad attitudes to everyone else around them. I learned that by not removing the weak link immediately, I allowed them to poison the rest of the team. Even with the weak links gone, the rest of the team remained crippled.

That is why as a leader and manager you must identify the people who are weak links on your team and remove them as soon as you know who they are. That is the law of the weakest link.

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