Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Expecting Success

Success, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder.
That's what makes life worth living, but it's also what can make living life together difficult.

We've all had someone we cared about, trusted, or love fail to live up to our expectations. The more successful you are, the more you've probably seen this happen.

When it happens in work the ball gets dropped and we lose a customer or potential profits; maybe the big bonus pool.
When it happens in relationships it leads to fights & perhaps even whittling away the foundation of mutual trust.
When it happens in sports it creates a disconnect opponents can take advantage of... instead of focusing on your job your don't trust your teammate to do theirs so you double your efforts & miss a key accountability of your own.

It all starts with transparancy & clarity.

Great leaders are transparant in their vision, their plan, their challenges, and their victories. All business leaders face the challenge of galvanizing more bodies toward the collective goal- how can you hope to do that if you don't share the goal(s), or how the company is progressing along the way to get there?

Great leaders are transparant in their feedback; neither sending generic praise (be specific), nor sugar-coating criticism (enabling should really be called disabling because a lack of candid feedback is like a lack of a correct roadmap - you need to know if you're off-course).

In terms of clarity - once you have identified a CLEAR collective goal, and been transparant with it; you now need to clarify both your performance expectations from your team, as well as your operating M.O. as a leader.

Though there's always room for a well-calculated surprise to generate a desired effect, the best leaders I know are predicatable in their behaviour, consistent in their demeanour and their methodologies, and also striving to improve. They practice what they preach; and they've practiced preaching in many different ways so their message carries mass appeal.

Do you ever find yourself expecting success (a certain type of behavior) without being transparant as to they why and clear as to the how related to said success?

As failure is the opposite of success, keep in mind you can never assume.
If clarity & transparancy lead to success, surely ambiguity and non-disclosure lead to failure.

As leaders who no doubt wants to succeed, let's ensure we keep open minds, open communication, and razor-sharp focus on the goals that matter most.

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