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Power of a Weak Link

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

Understanding the effect that a "weak link" is having on your team is indispensable to being a strong leader, retaining your top talent and bringing out their best. Many leaders tolerate a weak link because of feeling uncomfortable in dealing with them. Therefore, their team's effectiveness is greatly diminished and their top performers discouraged. Many find other employment due to this.

In a team where individuals operate relatively independently, a team of 5, each operating at a level 10 would be pictured as follows:

10+10+10+10+10= 50.

If there is a weak link operating at a level 5, then it becomes

10+10+10+10+5= 45.

Their effectiveness is reduced by 10%

Addition is at play here. Weak links always produce lowered effectiveness for the entire team.

However, on a synergistic team, where team members depend significaon each other, it becomes multiplication. 10x10x10x10x10= 100,000 If one member is operating at only 5, then it becomes 10x10x10x10x5= 50,000 Their effectiveness is reduced by a whopping 50%. This becomes a "hit the ball and drag Charlie" situation. If it goes on long enough, you'll just want to hit Charlie!

The 10 level team members will be enormously frustrated by the level 5 member who is dragging them down. Additionally, they will begin to doubt the effectiveness of the leader and "water cooler" talk around this issue will commence. Caring enough to confront the "weak link" is essential, regardless of the outcome. Others will respect the leader for his/her willingness to step up to this task and to preserve the effectiveness of the team. Top talent can then be preserved and rightly appreciated. Results-centered momentum will ensue. Reach out to today for help with this and other team development issues.

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