Hakuna Matata and energizing the Perfect Team
August 22, 20194 min read

Hakuna Matata and energizing the Perfect Team

Team motivation tips by Ricardo Borges Pereira.

Written by Ricardo Borges Pereira

Have you ever imagined working on the perfect project? And what about being part of the perfect team? What’s the secret? I’ll tell you, because I believe I have the perfect Project and Team, motivated every day.

Perfection is hard, but by believing and seeking it every day, you will be closer to it. Just imagine that the Project is the goal and the Team is the way to achieving it.  If the team is energized, the goal will be achieved. If the team is perfect, the project will be perfect too.

Regardless of your role, just be patient and believe that you can always make the difference, even with small actions you can bring something useful to your Team or Project. Trust that you are talented to make “The Project” yours and to create “The Team”. People will start looking at you as a “player”, with an important role, and they will respect you and search for your help. Great teams are self-motivated, so you must be, constantly, the get-up-and-go person.

Below are four ideas that I consider important to empowering a team and helping their members find their own motivations and tools to go forward and “reach for the stars”:

  1. Mens sana in corpore sano”. This is Latin and means that a healthy mind can lead to a healthy body, or that only a healthy body can produce a healthy mind. So, if, in addition to resting and eating well, you don’t exercise, it’s time to start. In the meantime, invite your team to join you. Certainly, exercise will make your mind work better and your skills increase. You will realize that you will think better, in more possibilities, and more quickly and efficiently. Your team will also be able to find “the seeds to plant the trees and create a forest”.
  2. Take challenges and risks. Don’t be afraid of failing. Everyone needs to be continuously challenged to get through. In fact, easy becomes boring, uninteresting or demotivating, but, on the other hand, the harder the task it can become impossible and frustrating.  But you can always get over it.  Just look on the bright side, as an opportunity. Remember that, when you fail, you learn and grow. Look at it from a different perspective and make the one who eventually criticized you change their mind. So, don’t you think that this is a piece of cake? As Thomas Edison famously said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. So, think out of the box, push yourself and be confident.
  3. Game plan, brainstorming and involvement. Show the team the strategy, the mission and the product. Ask others for their ideas and experience. Discuss around that. Give team members autonomy and trust that they can contribute to the common goal. Include all members in the decisions, tell them the reasons why the product is being created, give them feedback about the project and show them that they are producing something useful. That will help them, for sure, to be committed. As a matter of fact, you are all on the same boat.
  4. Celebrate success. Do it for every release or achievement. As an example of that: prepare an “All Together”: an event, with music, some food and drinks, and celebrate the victories. It will increase team’s bonding and harmony. It will boost the team.

One Project Manager once told me: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” (Neale Donald Walsch). So, look around and think: are you too much comfortable in what you are currently doing? We all love comfort and the “comfort zone”, it’s a beautiful place to be. But remember that no one grows there.  If you feel like you are very comfortable with what you are doing, then think about changing something in your daily routine. If you visit my desk, you will see a photo of me doing bungee jumping, and, written on it, there is this: “Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You” (Eleanor Roosevelt). This works for me and for my team as a motivation and a milestone to reach every day. Definitely, you feel much better when you overcome the barriers and the challenges in the risk zone. Guaranteed. You will feel that you are on the right track.

Your “Perfect Team” must run like an oiled machine. People should not only follow routines. They should adapt their work to the unknown, take risks and find the best way to succeed. And at the end, people should still have the power to inspire and encourage others to complete their goals. Hakuna Matata [1]!

[1] “Hakuna-matata” is a Swahili language phrase from East Africa and means “no trouble” or “no problems”