Set your own bar…

“‎Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself-and be lenient to everybody else.”

Henry Ward Beecher

If your most difficult master to please is yourself then disappointing others should be the least of your worries. It amazes me how much time people spending worrying about what others think instead of holding themselves to a higher standard.

The challenge becomes learning not to transfer that same high standard to everyone else around you. But then an inverse of the sentence above applies. Instead of worrying about the standards others have for themselves lead by the example you set for yourself.

Set your bar, exceed that bar, raise the bar and do it again. Don’t waste time worrying about the standards others set for you, they won’t set them high enough…

Accountable to our own standards…

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.”

Ray Kroc

You have to set higher standards for yourself than you do for anyone and everyone around you. But standards alone aren’t enough. You have to hold yourself accountable to those standards, and do so publicly, if you want to lead others effectively. There is no quicker way to undermine your own leadership than by being a “do as I say not as I do” leader.

We are all going to fall short at times and fail to meet our standards. We are human, it’s going to happen. However that isn’t an excuse, we have to be self-accountable before we can hold others accountable. Amazingly enough, when can be transparent enough to publicly show our shortfalls, and how we are going to address them, our leadership influence grows.

Ownership starts with self. Leadership starts with self…

Expectations vs. Recommendations.

“When setting expectations, no matter what has been said or written, if substandard performance is accepted and no one is held accountable — if there are no consequences — that poor performance becomes the new standard. Therefore, leaders must enforce standards.”

Jocko Willink

I have long held to a simple yet effective three step formula of leadership responsibility and accountability.  

  1. Set clear expectations
  2. Coach, Train, Provide Feedback to those expectations
  3. Hold accountable to the expectations

It is the leaders responsibility to ensure that his or her  team understands what is expected of them, that the proper coaching and training has occurred, and then that absolute accountability to those expectations has been enforced.  

Without enforcement then any expectations are merely recommendations, coaching and training is a waste of time, and accountability doesn’t mean anything…  

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