How To Avoid Team Disappointment

Organisations that struggle is due to a lack of leadership and too much management.

Highly effective teams who are part of attractive organisations that have great leadership still feel disappointment from time to time. No organisation is perfect with perfect leadership and a perfect culture.

The organisations that are struggling or on the path towards failure, there is a lot more people who feel disappointment. I have been part of an organisation like that, it was the first organisation I joined as an engineering apprentice.

1. Being Disappointed

I sensed disappointment from many daily, and it seemed like it was never ending for the four years I was part of it. It was normal everyday life for people to be disappointed.

The main reason that people are disappointed with their organisation is because they had certain expectations (e.g. pay, conditions, benefits, culture, shift patterns etc.), and these expectations were not being met.


The experience I felt from the more senior people when I was an apprentice was that the workload was drying up, and there was talk of redundancy. Now, you can imagine how disappointed everyone was to hear redundancy being floated about the organisation.

As a leader of a team, when was the last time you were disappointed in one of them? Were you disappointed because of the team member, or was it because you lacked the right amount influence with them?

Think about a specific situation in the past or present on when you have been disappointed in one of your team members. The reason I ask these two questions is to help you to think deeper and understand the reasons behind your disappointment.

This will help you to think about other specific situations also. Not only at work with your team, but at home with your friends and family.

When we are disappointed in our team members, it is because we lacked the right amount of influence with them. This is a principle, and this is the case every single time we feel that disappointment with others.

This can be with a team member at work, a family member, a friend or even with a stranger we meet. This is a fact that we must accept if we are going to improve on this and reduce the amount of disappointment in others we feel.

Let’s discuss an example to confirm this principle.

2. Disappointing Example

In 2017 when I took an engineering technical manager role in London, I took on a big team, and this team consisted of three managers who reported into me.

There was one manager who I was disappointed with more often than any other team member. I couldn’t inspire or motivate him to do what I wanted him to do. My influence was lacking with him.

Whenever I or one of the team had a new idea that I thought we should try and implement, he always had reservations about it and didn’t think it was the right thing to do. I couldn’t gain the buy-in from him, which disappointed me.

It was the same with most of his systems engineers too, I couldn’t gain their buy-in to try and help me to convince their manager. The simple reason for this was because I didn’t have the right amount of influence with him or his team.

When something happens that we didn’t want to happen, and we couldn’t stop it from happening, we get disappointed. When something doesn’t happen that did want to happen, and we couldn’t make it happen, we get disappointed. This is the same in all of us.

If you knew this already, or if you didn’t, we all get disappointed for those reasons. With the example I have just described the reason for my disappointment was my lack of influence with the manager who reported into me, and with his team.

Although, at the time I didn’t fully understand that it was due to my lack of influence. Upon reflection and a lot of deep thinking I came to the conclusion that I was disappointed in myself, not my team members.

I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to increase my influence with my team members and achieve my desired outcome.

3. Lack of Influence

The same goes for the examples you thought of earlier. The reason you were disappointed in your team members was not down to them, but down to your lack of influence with them.

To reduce or eliminate disappointment completely from our daily lives both at work and at home, then we must understand that it is our leadership ability that is going to do it. Our own leadership development is crucial in removing disappointment.

Influence is leadership, and leadership is influence.

My website has three pillars that I focus on, and they are; leadership, personal growth and influence. Leadership and influence are the same thing, but it is very important to me that I stress this because it is not widely understood by most leaders throughout the world.

After learning that influence is leadership, and leadership is influence, I confirmed with myself that a person who has the most influence within a group or with another person is the leader. The person with the most influence within a group or with another person has the vision of what the outcome will be.

The person with the most influence within a group or with another person is not disappointed, it may be the people or person who is disappointed.

Does having the position of manager, team leader, supervisor or director make you a leader? No. Does having the right amount of influence make you a leader? Yes. Don’t get me wrong, having the title or position can give you more authority, and people are more likely to listen to you.

But, it doesn’t confirm your influence. If you lack influence while being in a leadership position, then you will feel disappointment.

If another person within your team has more influence than you do with the leadership position, then they are leading, not you. If they lose that influence, then they too are going to feel disappointment.

The principle I am discussing here and the other principles I share in my books will help you to increase your influence and mitigate how disappointed you feel.

4. Taking Action

The conclusion on this topic is that when you feel disappointed with your team, a team member, a family member or friend, it is due to a lack of influence. It is now up to you to put this principle and the other principles you have read about in this article and my other articles into action.

It is up to you to share these principles with your people and inspire them to put them into action too. The only way you can confirm these principles to yourself is by practicing them. The only way you can help your people to do the same is through influencing them to.


The difference between you inspiring yourself to take action on these principles and then influencing others to follow you is huge. You are in a leadership position, so what are you responsible for? The people. What are the people responsible for? The job.

You must focus on the people and the people must focus on the job…Big difference in responsibilities that you all must understand.

If you want your team to become successful and become a highly effective team, do you know what your role as their leader is? Do your team know what their role is in becoming a highly effective team?

The most successful and highly effective teams in the world all knew what their specific role was in making their team highly effective.

When things are going well in an organisation, people don’t even realise that this was due to good leadership. The culture is at a high level and the people are happy, why is there a need for leaders? It is times like these that leaders are needed more than ever, to keep the good times going.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (LeadGrowInfluence)

8 thoughts on “How To Avoid Team Disappointment

  1. Hi Tom, Brilliant article. I believe people often underestimate their influence and choose silence over speaking up, leading to disappointment. Managing people becomes difficult when surrounded by opaque individuals. Creating an environment where people feel comfortable speaking up is essential for a positive company culture. Thanks for for your article.


    1. Hi Angee,

      Thank you for sharing your kind words on my article.

      I think you’re right that people do underestimate their influence because every single person in the world has the ability to influence another. It is so important that we are aware of the kind of influence we have, positive or negative.

      Keep having a positive influence with your people and help them to have the same with others.

      All the best,


  2. It can be disappointing indeed when you have a lack of influence on a certain person or persons and I would love to learn how to do this and raise my influence to also convince that one person who always disagrees with something, although I think this is not going to be easy?

    After all, with some people you have “a click” and others, you just don’t,and I really wonder if that can change anything in a working environment? Food for thought, your article!

    1. Hi Lizzy,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my article.

      It certainly is disappointing when you don’t have the influence that you need to with your people. So, I hope this article helps you realise how to increase your influence, and my other articles too.

      Keep working on yourself and helping your people to work on themselves too.

      All the best,


  3. You hit the nail on the head with “too much management” and not enough leadership. I have worked in a few companies for short periods of time because they were so ego-based and lacked the necessary leadership not only to have contented staff but also to get the best out of their people. Folks respond to encouragement and most are dedicated and want to do well. With the proper leadership, this becomes a reality. Thanks, Tom, for this very insightful article.

    1. Hi Joseph,

      Thank you so much for your comment on my article.

      I’m so pleased that this article resonated with you and “too much management”. It is still the same now and I need to do my best to help change this with the help of others, like yourself.

      Thank you again and keep up the amazing work you do.

      All the best,


  4. It’s commendable how you reflect on your own role in the situation. It’s a reminder of the complexity of leadership dynamics and the importance of self-improvement in achieving desired outcomes.

    1. Hi Kay,

      Thank you for your comment and your kind words.

      I couldn’t agree with you more how complex leadership is and working on ourselves every day to be the best leader we can be.

      Keep working on yourself and keep shawing your people how to do the same.

      All the best,


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