These executives and athletes are “Spectators” because they seem to be sitting on the sideline of their own lives. We see this in sports when players are simply going through the motions. They are not pushing themselves on or off the field. They made the team, they are able to spend time with their friends, and that’s about it. And that’s okay. Not every athlete has to be the star.
In business, Spectators are just going through the motions at work. They spend little time thinking about how to find success. Spectators are not particularly driven to succeed, nor are they concerned about failing. They aren’t trying very hard, and they make excuses for their lack of effort. These behaviors serve to protect an individual’s perceived self-worth by providing excuses for poor performance on challenging tasks.
Inspiring Spectators to perform can be quite challenging. They may suffer from low competence motivation and have difficulty mustering the energy to try when they feel incompetent to begin with.
Spectators need to create their own personal vision.
Spectators may have never thought about being successful, therefore, they have no vision of what it would be like. The goal is to get these executives to see themselves in a new successful environment, internalizing those images, causing them to become interested and/or excited in making that vision a reality. Without homing in on a very clear personal vision of their future and working toward making that vision a reality, Spectators will simply remain going through the motions.