Leading a team involves many tasks. Every day, we align goals, set priorities, shield ourselves from distractions, and consider the next steps. But we often skip over explaining the why. We assume that the clarity of the goal is motivation enough. "Hit Q4 targets," "Keep us afloat," "Save customers time"-are you excited? We often forget an important aspect that leaders should keep in mind: Motivation and Emotion.

How do we effectively "rally the troops"?

But first, why would we want to do this? Camaraderie brings joy and focus. It's not just good for the company to have more engaged and focused employees. It's also a personal boon. Positive emotions enhance learning, strengthen social connections, and increase happiness in other areas of life.

This topic could fill a book, but let's focus on three actions:

First, identify an adversary. Every compelling story has a villain. Leadership is about weaving stories. Remember, there is no memorable story without an antagonist. There's no Luke without Darth Vader.

Second, discuss and practice tactics. Think of this as preparing for a strategic battle. Before each skirmish, you prepare for weeks: you know the terrain, you know what to expect from your teammates, you know what is expected of you, you know what is at stake. Avoid rash attacks. Often, teams seem to just jump blindly into an area, all yelling at a target, dealing with problems as they arise.

And I'm not talking about something as specific and mundane as a "sprint. Think beyond that, to the corporate strategy. Adaptability is key, but a clear understanding of the larger strategy and specific tactics is critical. Their role should be clear. Set specific expectations that can be targeted and rewarded.

Third, foster trust. The ultimate foundation for success is trust. It's essential that team members rely on each other's commitment and presence. You need to know that people will do what they say they will do and be where they say they will be. How is this achieved? Through a solid track record and demonstration of selflessness. Trust is built over time and through consistent, reliable actions. But be careful, trust is hard to earn and easy to lose.

Injecting a little emotion adds fun to the mix. Life is too short to just show up. Don't march mindlessly, sing a few songs at the company party, paint a target to conquer, make up a story. It's more than just leading - it's about rallying the troops with purpose and passion.