Whatever it is you want to achieve – whether it’s growing a business or going for Gold at the Olympics – you will need support people working in the background to help you succeed.Those support people can be your business partner(s) or executive team, your spouse or life partner, your children, your employees and even your network of friends and extended family. Your sacrifices to achieve your goal are THEIR sacrifices. Your struggles are THEIR struggles. The only difference between you and them is you chose to pursue this goal. They didn’t. Simply by association of varying degrees, your success journey has a tremendous impact on them.

This is especially the case for spouses and children who aren’t directly involved in your business.Whoever they are, the #1 way leaders sabotage their success is by forgetting to acknowledge the support team that stands firmly and loyally behind them. Often leaders even forget to give them the simplest acknowledgement: “Thank you”.

This is a very personal topic for me as the wife of a three-time Olympian and two-time World Champion. When my husband, Jeff Pain, earned a Silver medal in Torino, Italy, I was right there with him, fighting for his Olympic dreams behind-the-scenes, holding down the home front. I called myself the ‘married-single-mom’ and many called my husband ‘Snuffleupagus’, the mysterious, and often absent husband.

How can you ensure the continued, full support of your support team?

  1. Acknowledge Their Support – Make acknowledgement a daily habit. It’s impossible to thank them enough. Say it, write it in an email, take them out for a thank you dinner, and create team events to acknowledge their role in your success.
  2. Make it Public – Sing the praises of your support team members with every chance you get, no matter the medium. The best support teams are not a ‘best kept secret’.  Whether you achieve your goal or not, make it known your support was with you through it all.
  3. Understand Their Side – Look at it from their perspective: what are they giving up to support your dream? Remember, it’s your dream and chances are they had little or no say in it, other than by association. To get them onside, you need to see it as they do. Use this understanding as the basis of crafting an agreement outlined in the next step.
  4. Create an Agreement – Take the time to craft an effective agreement with your support people…ALL YOUR SUPPORT PEOPLE. Every agreement is going to be different depending on their connection to you. What do they need to get more on-board with your plan? What’s in it for them?
  5. Check in Regularly – Don’t assume that just because you have an agreement in place that your job is done. Find out how they are feeling about things or if something has changed for them that may require adjusting your agreement. We often don’t clearly know what we need until we are asked, and try it out for a time.
  6. Give Them a Forum – Make it easy for them to give you honest feedback. This is especially important for spouses and children who may have a hard time discussing how your goals are impacting them because they don’t want to disappoint you or hurt your feelings by telling you the current arrangement isn’t working for them.

Need someone to help you craft your support team agreements and facilitate a constructive discussion? Need help navigating and incorporating change?  Contact me to set up your free consultation!

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