This is a picture of my good friend Tubs. He has a look of anticipation and expectation in his eyes. He wants to be sure that whoever he is communicating with understands those expectations. If his tongue is showing, he expects a treat. If there's a toy in his mouth, he expects to play. And if he walks toward the door, he expects to go out.
Life is simple and good when your expectations are clear.
As a leader, you probably have some expectations, too. You expect a certain level of performance from each of your team members. You expect a certain professional conduct. You expect respect.
Does everyone on your team understand, clearly, your expectations? Not last year's expectations, and maybe even not last month's expectations, but rather your current expectations? And, not only what you expect but to what level of urgency do you expect prompt action?
Let them know. Tell them again. They do need to be reminded. There's no room for a mystery here, is there?
What stands in your way when it comes to achieving your goals?
Life will give us lots of obstacles. We have to learn how to deal with them. But, we also give ourselves some unnecessary barriers. We build walls out of our limiting beliefs.
Limiting beliefs are those thoughts that we believe so strongly that they prevent us from doing what would otherwise be possible. They are different from person to person, but they often sound like this: "I'm not good enough...they would never appreciate me...I failed at this before so why try again...that's the kind of person who always gives me trouble..." and on and on.
Our limiting beliefs are so deeply ingrained, many of them formed when we were very young children, that we often are not even aware that they are there -- or that they are limiting our possibilities.
Our job is to increase our possibilities and choices, not limit them. Not to take unnecessary risks or subject ourselves to danger, but to overcome the little hurdl…
Team building. It's a never ending process. It starts with recruiting. Who you bring into your team makes the chemistry of your team. Who you bring into your team sets the players in place to do the work that needs to be done.
Take your time with recruiting. Start by getting to know the best talent you can. You never know who might be interested in joining your team, but first get to know them. Learn from talent everywhere. Explore places you might not usually explore to find the talent that can take your team to the next level.
They might not join your team now. They might not even be interested. But, someday they might. The only way that someday arrives is if you start the dialogue today.
Who do you know who you wish was on your team right now? What if you gave them a call?
Have you ever been on your way somewhere and suddenly realized that you were on the wrong road? Before GPS, that would happen to me frequently. I'd get lost. Things looked different than I expected.
On our road to our goals, things can get distorted. Our expectations, formed with optimism and trust, can get twisted or tumble over a cliff. The road to any goal requires a toll. Are you prepared to pay that toll.
One early toll is seeing thru the distortions. To achieve our goal we need to see clearly. That could mean seeing things thru someone else's viewpoint. Find out the facts, sort out the feelings, and focus on as much objective truth that is available.
The road ahead is distorted. It's up to us to stay centered, focused, and on the right route to our goal.
You are, as the team leader, at the center. You set the tone. You set the speed. You set the mood.
Those are powerful abilities, if you use them in high performance ways. You'll need power, and you'll need strength, and you can't grab that from anyplace else other than yourself. Your team is counting on you. Whether or not they tell you, they depend on you to be their strong leader. The strength of patience. The strength of persistence. The strength of high expectations.
Pull your team together. Talk with them individually AND as part of the whole team. Let them know how to succeed and they'll do their best to do so.
As much as you might want it to, your team will not build itself. It needs a strong leader.
Don't let anyone or anything stop you from being creative. It's power you have to use to make things better and achieve your goals. Sure, it sometimes might aggravate people. It might cause some people to bristle at having to look at things a new way. It's important. Stay with it.
Creativity will get you out of more trouble than it ever gets you into.
You get to choose. Even when your boss gives you goals, you still get the chance to set additional goals that sing to your soul, that make you smile, that energize you and get you going. The right goals set you up for success.
When you set your goals, set goals that set you up for success.
What's your biggest, most exciting goal for today?
From Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, Executive Coach, comes this is a great way to share fast, low risk coaching with a number of people. The three steps are simple and easy:
Write down an area you'd like to improve that would have a big impact for youAsk for 2 positive suggestions for the future that would help with that areaRepeat getting positive suggestions from others in the group
There are two simple roles for the process:
No talking about the pastNo judging or critiquing ideas
Here's Dr. Goldsmith describing the process in one of his highly useful videos:
I found this article and video from one of my favorite sources of leadership advice, GetLighthouse.com, here.