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    Leadership & Team Advisor

    Improving Leadership ROI through daily leadership and team development practices. Mark McCatty, Inc - Leadership & Team Advisor
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    Managers, Let Your Team Work

    Time management or lack thereof, is a frequent complaint that many managers have of their team members. These managers frequently say things like “they don’t complete their work on time”, or “they always wait until it nearly becomes a crisis to get things finished”. The manager often throws around words like lazy and procrastinator when describing their people.

    What I find, in many cases, is not a situation where time is not well managed. Occasionally, I do see a case of deliberate procrastination or lazy work ethic. But this is the general exception and not the rule. Rather, most times I find that priorities are not clearly understood. In fact, many managers create ADT [Attention Deficient Trait] characteristics in the team members.


    ADT develops when there is an amygdala hijack. That’s when the amygdala [the emotional brain] takes over the brain function processes from the cognitive [thinking brain]. The result is the typical fight or flight response we would expect to see when the brain feels threatened.

    ADT occurs when there is so much conflicting information about priorities and deadlines, which in turn causes the brain to essentially go into overload. And like an overloaded circuit, it just flips off when overstressed. This flip is the emotional [fight or flight] brain taking over the logical decision-making, thinking processes.

    So what can the manager do to improve team performance? Let team members know what is important and let them work. The manager can provide clear and consistent priorities, aligned to business values and goals. As any organization that is constantly switching from one focus area to another [without proper change management in place], so a team that is forced to start, stop, and re-start [again and again] will not likely succeed.

    The manager must create a positive work environment where there is high enough trust to have open and honest conversations, and where there is strong support for collaboration and cooperation among team members. Negative emotions, like fear and high frustration will engage the amygdala and restrict logical, cognitive thinking. These negative emotions must be identified and arrested.

    Managers can contribute to reducing ADT in the workplace. By being on the lookout for it, and taking steps to reduce it when found, managers can get much more productivity from their teams. And the team members will be happier as a result. More productive employees are, after all, happier employees.

    Mark McCatty, Leadership & Team Advisor


    Leadership Results through People

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    As a leadership and team advisor, I have helped numerous organizations, through speaker presentations, group training, and individual coaching, to meet the challenge of creating engaging and purposeful work environments. 

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