At some point, everyone has been in a group with an obvious weak link. Whether you are a part of an office, a participant in a neighborhood committee, or a member of a school-assigned group project, there is usually someone who, for one reason or another, is content to phone it in. What’s a natural leader like you to do?
First of all, avoid shaming this person. Swallow the urge to angrily confront your slacker and instead express concern. You never know what is going on in your slacker’s personal life, and there may be a completely reasonable explanation for why he or she seems to be mentally checked out. A gentle approach and an offer to help, if needed, is a better tactic than blowing your gasket.
Simon Sinek, the author of Leaders Eat Last (amazon.com), has another concrete idea to motivate the unmotivated: Give him/her an important, deadline-oriented task that will have a lot of eyes on it. Sometimes your slacker is just not sure how to help and would thrive with specific solo tasks. Find more of Sinek’s tips on being a good leader.
Want more leadership advice? Professional musician Derek Sivers’ 3-minute TED Talk video is a funny—yet thought-provoking—take on how to start a movement.