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Teamwork: Weak Link Transmitting More Power Than We Could Ever Imagine

One Weak Link Could Create Impact 

More Than We Could Ever Imagine


Teams can be such powerful forces behind a company’s success. Especially when we’re working on a major project, the strength of a few or several key executives working toward our common goal can be astounding.

When we’ve got a team member who has been identified as the weak link, there is a chance that he doesn’t even realize it.

But that doesn’t make it okay.

It’s still far from acceptable. The cost of a weak link on our team is quite powerful.

According to Harvard Business Review (2009), teams with a weak link or toxic member can wreak more havoc than some leaders may realize. Consider the impact:

  • 48% noticeable decreased effort by other team members
  • 47% decrease in time committed to the team’s project or joint effort
  • 38% reduction in overarching production quality
  • 66% impact in team performance
  • 80% lost time to working on team project (due to issues stemming from tending, responding, reacting, or making up for the weak link)
  • 63% time spent avoiding the weak link (now that is a lot of wasted effort)
  • 78% decline in other team members commitment to the organization

When in doubt, seek advice. Bring it here to our forum. Reach out to your trusted advisor. Weak links can, will, and do disrupt the flow, so seeking support is commendable. What’s more – anticipate. Weak links and toxic team members create issues. They just do. Be prepared and in turn, you will be protecting yourself and your team.

If you happen to mess up along the way, admit it. Weak links disrupt things. Mistakes are more likely to happen.

Should you realize you’ve got a weak link on your team that is impacting your projects or organization, take heed. It’s not going to get better on its own. If it isn’t already, it will begin (or continue) to impact your bottom line. Click here to read more about How One Bad Team Member Can Screw Up the Entire Team by Arcement (2017).

Tips for Dealing with a Weak Link:

  • Focus on making the organization look good by asserting effort to ensuring your team looks good (it’s a win/win because you look good and so does your boss)
  • Avoid getting involved in the politics [aka crap or rumors] that goes along with dealing with the day-to-day miniscule issues surrounding the weak link
  • Provide solutions. I know, this is a no-brainer. But in the mist of dealing with a toxic employee or weak link, they can sometimes ‘run interference’. Don’t let it happen to you
  • Create and sustain a cordial relationship with the weak link. It’s not that I’m advocating for ‘keeping your friends close, but your enemies closer’, but there is no reason to become part of the problem by letting how you [really feel] get in the way
  • But stay authentic and true to yourself. Integrity goes a long, long, long way

How has a weak link impacted your team’s productivity? Any tips to offer?