Have high expectations and lead by example

Have high expectations and lead by example.

The fact of the matter is this – as a business owner your expectations of yourself and of your business are up here, they’re massive, they’re big and so they should be, because you’ve got a big vision and you want to achieve great things with your business.

Guaranteed though, you are not gonna find people as employees, as staff members,or  as team members who are going to feel the same way as you, who are gonna think the same way as you about your business and who are going to go above and beyond in the same way that you will.

As the business owner you will pretty much do whatever it takes to make your business a success, right?

However because the business is not your team member’s, it’s not your employee’s, it’s not your staff’s, it doesn’t belong to them, it wasn’t their baby, it wasn’t their brainchild, they naturally aren’t gonna have the same kind of inclinations toward it, that you are going to have.

So what it’s very very important to understand is that when your motivation and your level of commitment to the business is so high, your staff members is always going to be somewhere below that.

The rule is this – the higher you raise your expectations the higher everybody else’s are going to be as well.

So if your expectations are at 100% then your staff are down at 60%, then have your expectations at 120%, 150% and then you will get them closer to that 100% mark.

If your expectations however are down is 60% and then your staff are down at 20% then you’re really going to be struggling with productivity, profitability and getting consistent high-quality results.

A great point here is to lead by example.

If you want people to behave in a certain way in your business, if you want people to talk to each other and respect each other in a certain way in your business, if you want people out delivering your goods and services to do so in a certain fashion, then you have to lead by example.

Whether you like it or not, the way that you behave at the top of the business, is going to filter down into the operations of every other aspect of the business.

So as management, as the directors, as the executive board, your behaviour will reflect on everyone else whether that’s accounts, whether it’s delivery, whether it’s project management, it doesn’t matter.

If you’re not leading by the example that you want people to behave in, then you’re going to find it very very difficult to enforce that behaviour in your staff, or rather inspire that behaviour in your staff because that’s what it’s all about.

We’ve had enough of this carrot and the stick approach, we need now to look to the more progressive form of coaching that is inspiring our staff, coaching our team members to become the very best that they can be, and seeing everybody for the massive potential that they hold inside of them and rather than focusing on past mistakes and things gone awry.

Focus on where they are today and where they could be, where they have the potential to be in a year’s time in two years time.

Focus on getting them there, focus on asking great questions and helping to empower them so that they become interdependent as a team rather than wholly dependent on you as the business owner to tell them what to do day by day.

The only place that leads, the only result you’re going to get by taking that route is you’re going to have a business full of people who rely on you day-in day-out and you’re gonna end up spending so much time micromanaging the team that you have no time to work on the business or indeed step out of the business to focus on the things that you truly love and enjoy, like spending time with your family.

So that leads on nicely to don’t micromanage.

Because if you micromanage people then you’re telling them what to do. If you micromanage people you’re not empowering them to make quality decisions for themselves, and problem-solve to solve challenges on their own.

One of my most favourite things when working a large team was when they came to me with a problem, rather than just giving them the answer, as I could often have done, it was to ask them really amazing questions like;

  • What do you think that we should do in this situation?
  • What effect would that have on the business?
  • How would that affect timescales?
  • What effect would that have on the client side?


And then coaching them by asking great questions which helped them get to the answer that I would have probably given them anyway.

But when they work out how to get from problem to solution on their own that’s massively empowering for your team and massively empowering to you as well because it means that the more and more you invest in that kind of approach, the more your team are going to be able to go away and solve problems on their own and the less you will find that those problems come back and get landed on your desk.


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