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The 4 Stages of Leverage When Building a Team: Stage #3 - The Momentum Stage:

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Once an organization has successfully transitioned from the Backwards Leverage Stage to the Responsibility Stage, the next step is to move into the Momentum Stage. This stage is characterized by a strong sense of direction and purpose, with a focus on attracting and retaining top talent.

One key aspect of the Momentum Stage is to focus daily on the future team. As John C. Maxwell notes, "Leadership is about going somewhere. If you and your people don't know where you're going, your leadership doesn't matter." By having a clear vision and constantly working towards it, leaders can keep their teams focused and motivated.

The Law of Magnetism:

Another important principle in the Momentum Stage is the Law of Magnetism, which states that "who you are is who you attract." This means that leaders need to work on themselves and improve their own skills and abilities to attract high-quality team members.

As Jim Rohn famously said, "Work harder on yourself than you do on your job."

To build a strong team, leaders must connect with their people and find out what they desire. By understanding their team members' goals and motivations, leaders can create an environment that supports growth and development. When you know what people really want and are searching for, you can tailor your approach to become the leader they need and want to work for.

Focus on what your leaders and your company need to become to be the most attractive option to job seekers. You can also ask yourself what the best candidates expect out of their leaders. This will give you an idea of what will attract them. Make your job description reflect the positive qualities and traits you want in your employees. Use language that is welcoming, upbeat, and focuses on the benefits of working for your restaurant. This will help to attract individuals who are motivated by similar goals and values.

Highlight the unique culture of your business in your job postings and during the interview process. Discuss the values, mission, and vision of your business, and emphasize the opportunities for growth and development. This will help to attract individuals who share your values and are motivated by a sense of purpose. Great leaders should sell themselves and the vision of the organization if they want to be attractive to applicants. Remember, they are interviewing you at the same time. You will need to sell yourself and sell your company convincingly. The question isn't just if they are hirable, but it's if they will hire YOU.

Cultural Immune System:

A culture of excellence is difficult to obtain and even more difficult to maintain. Great leaders develop strong cultural immune systems for their organizations. Protecting your eagles at all costs becomes a top priority. Your workplace culture is the playground where it all happens. There are many cultural values, and many ways groups of people interact with each other in any closed system but make no mistakes they are not all equal as it relates to cooperation, effectiveness, and unity. The culture you craft will be the one you live with.

There are many people out there that will not fit your culture. Organizations must open the back door to positive turnover. It is essential to establish a bottom 25% rule, which involves identifying the employees who are not meeting the company's standards and providing them with the support and resources they need to improve. If they are still unable to meet the organization's expectations, they may need to be let go. This helps to ensure that the team is made up of individuals who are committed to the organization's vision and values and who are actively contributing to its success.


In the Momentum Stage, building systems of accountability becomes a crucial factor in maintaining progress and achieving sustainable growth. This involves setting clear expectations and holding team members accountable for their actions, ensuring that everyone is working towards the same goals. As noted by business expert, Brian Tracy, "Accountability breeds response-ability." To foster a culture of personal responsibility, organizations must establish clear communication channels and a system of rewards and consequences. This creates an environment where team members feel empowered and motivated to take ownership of their work and contribute to the organization's success.

As Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, said, "The team with the best players wins." By constantly investing in their team members and pushing them to improve, organizations can create a culture of excellence that drives success. Accountability isn’t just a stick; it is also a carrot. Together they will produce a person who fully understands the rules of the game and is inspired to follow them.

Empowered Recruitment:

Empowering teams to recruit and attract is another key aspect of the Momentum Stage. By giving team members the tools and resources, they need to attract top talent, organizations can create a culture of excellence that attracts the best and brightest. Surveys suggest 70% of current workers were attracted to their current position through the proximity principle, someone they know in the organization. There is a level of trust that comes from a suggestion from a friend that has first-hand experience in their position. Exploring the world of uncertainty can be intimidating.

Culture of Leadership:

In the Momentum Stage, creating a culture of leadership and training is vital for sustained growth and success. It involves investing in employees' growth and development to empower them to take ownership of their roles and responsibilities.

A culture of leadership can also be fostered by creating opportunities for employees to lead and take on new responsibilities. Giving team members ownership of specific projects or initiatives can help them build confidence and develop their leadership skills. This can also be done by setting up a peer-to-peer mentoring system, where employees can learn from each other's experiences and share their knowledge.

By creating a culture of leadership, organizations can develop the next generation of leaders. Employees who feel empowered to make decisions and take risks are more likely to develop the skills and qualities necessary to become effective leaders. This culture of leadership can also help identify potential leaders within the organization, allowing for targeted training and development opportunities.

Moving from the Backwards Leverage Stage to the Responsibility Stage is a great achievement for any organization. Now, it's time to step into the Momentum Stage, marked by a clear direction and a focus on attracting and retaining top talent. Leaders in this stage prioritize the future of the team, understanding that leadership is about going somewhere. The Law of Magnetism is key. Leaders must work on themselves to attract high-quality team members. Connecting with the team, understanding their goals, and fostering a growth-supportive environment are crucial. Building a culture immune to negativity and embracing positive turnover helps maintain excellence. Accountability systems, empowered recruitment, and a culture of leadership play vital roles in sustaining growth and success. The Momentum Stage is about investing in people, fostering leadership, and creating an environment that attracts the best.

Joel Smith

Business Coach, Author and Entrepreneur

This article is a section out of the book Team Design: Building Great Teams By Attracting the Right People. Download the Free PDF version.

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