Previously, I have been in a situation where members from my team were not actively participating in a project. Once my team members became complacent not contributing, motivating them was a near impossible task. I was hesitant to pick up their workload because it was only showing them, they really did not need to partake in the group activities. After several days of no participation, I decided it was time for me to lead by example. I started to pick up tasks that should have been done by my team members and pushed myself to really excel. I would update the team on my progress daily. Eventually, the lazy team members decided to take more interest and began participating in the group activities. Of course, this helped the project move more quickly and allowed me to utilize my time more wisely on my own portion of the project.
It is really upsetting when team members of your group are not partaking in the group activities to help push a project forward. It is very disappointing when these team members sit around and just watch everyone else working. Why the hell are we paying these lazy people? How do we get rid of these people? These are the type of questions we ask ourselves. Since it is not always easy to get rid of poor employees, it is sometimes better to try and make them better. A word of caution is do not become so heavily involved in helping another poor performing employee if they are not willing to help themselves. They need to show a little interest before you start providing guidance and spending your efforts on them.
As a leader, we cannot just direct our team and will need to participate in some of the activities in the weeds. This shows your willingness to participate and be one with the team. Additionally, this helps motivate your team to work hard and try to please you. As a leader, you will want to make sure your team can trust you and rely on you in case they are short handed or need help somewhere. In my personal experience, I am more likely to respect a leader when I see their willingness to help me out. There should not be a barrier where the leader feels he/she is too good to work on certain things. In my opinion, leading by example is a very important trait and tool to motivate your team to drive themselves to get the work done.