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6 Ways To Motivate And Inspire Your Team After A Setback

Source | | Brian Scudamore

In 2008, mid-recession, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? didn’t have its usual optimistic energy — in fact, it was downright depressing. At our annual conference that year, it was painfully obvious: our team desperately needed a pep rally to boost morale.

For inspiration, I looked to the silver screen and based my pep talk on Al Pacino’s ‘inch by inch’ speech. I didn’t shy away from the challenges we faced or make excuses for what had happened. I owned up to the fact that I failed to anticipate (and prepare for) the economic downturn. But most of all, I showed them that together, we had the power to turn things around — and that every small step forward would lead us into a brighter future.

Every leader needs to be able to rally their team.


Success relies on teamwork, communication and a strong coach to keep everyone rowing together. As leader, you need to earn people’s trust and give them a reason to believe in you. Here’s how you can rally a team to come back from even the biggest challenges.

1. Go Long

In 1997, our business hit a plateau for the first time in nearly a decade. I could barely motivate myself to keep going, much less a team, so I stepped away to reassess my vision. That’s when I wrote our first Painted Picture: a long-term snapshot of exactly how I wanted the company to look, feel and act in the next five years. Then I set out to refocus the company with people who believed we could achieve it.

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