LEADERSHIP IS DANGEROUS – SETTLING
10 months ago
The next trap many leaders face is SETTLING.
- Settling for poor performance from a team member.
- Settling for good enough.
- Settling for small goals.
Settling is another easy trap to fall into. It rolls right off of our tongues. Think of all the times you’ve settled.
- I don’t deserve to be leading so I’ll step aside for now
- We can’t do better as a team
- I’m used to these results. They’re good enough
When is the last time you’ve heard yourself mutter one of these lines? Recently, I bet. If not, you’ve uttered some other line that says you’re settling. Now you may be asking yourself: What’s wrong with settling? There’s a lot that is wrong with settling. It gives us under-performing team members. They may be on the wrong seat or even the wrong bus. But they’re holding the team back. And you’ve kept them on because they’re comfortable and you’re comfortable. It gives us lackluster results. When we settle for sub-par results, we tend to get sub-par results. This brings down the quality of work we’re doing and give the organization a poor image. It may also result in lost customers, employees, or even injuries.
It gives us a lack of satisfaction. Giving in and settling causes us to care less for the projects we’re working on. Knowing the results will be less than stunning, we stop caring. Less caring leads to a poor product. And creating a poor product leads to a lack of satisfaction. Can you see how settling can creep in and destroy leadership? It slowly breaks down the team, creates poor products or results, and destroys our satisfaction in creating a product or result you can be proud of. We’ve got to move away from the trap of settling. To do this, you’ll be required to shift your mindset into one that requires quality and sees results that meet the standards of your organization. Without this mindset change, you’ll fall back into settling for poor results and performance. What can be done to help shift from a mindset of settling to a mindset of quality results? I’m glad you asked. It requires you to take swift action and a change of habits. Are you ready to discover what needs to happen?
Begin by seeing that settling is hurting your performance and your team
Low standards and mediocrity brings everyone down. They feel their work is unimportant and they can do a poor job. What’s it matter anyways? Nothing great is expected from us. Let’s do the least amount of work so we can relax and kick back.
Move into calling your team to accountability
Lay out a template of what results will and will not be accepted. Discuss with the past issue of settling and where you’re moving to. Let them know it’s no fault of theirs but a fault you’ve discovered. Show them how settling has hurt the team and the great results you expect to see with this new move.
Model the desired behavior.
Chances are, you may have been part of the problem. Where you? If you found yourself slacking off and not doing the best job possible, know that part of the problem was you. Decide today that you will change your attitude and behavior. You will be responsible and you will make wise choices when it comes to doing great work. Apologize to your team for your lack of effort. Apply yourself towards achieving the results that you want to see from your team. Become the leader and do the work required.
Track the progress.
The only way to tell if you’re moving forward and not settling for poor results is to track the progress and results of the work being done. It’s not fun and it gets messy when you have to call a team member or yourself out on the floor for poor performance. But if you’re not tracking the progress of quality work you’ll never know if you’ve improved what needed to be improved. If you make the shift in these four areas, you’ll begin to see a shift towards accountability and creating quality products or results. Keep it up and your organization will gain the recognition it deserves. I hope I didn’t come off as too harsh in this chapter. It’s not what I wanted but it’s what needed to be said. We need to see settling hurts the whole team. We need to see our teams need to be called into accountability. We need to model the behavior we desire. And we need to track our progress. This is where the results will come from.
One note on settling. Don’t mistake settling for being an emphatic leader. There will be times when a team member needs extra time or training. It’s not from a lack of desire to do quality work. It may come from a struggle at home or a need for more training.
Assess the situation. If training or a little time off appears to be the solution, be willing to work with the team member to resolve the issue. Help them succeed so they can help the company excel. Not only will you have helped a team member improve, you will have made a team member who sees their value. This can be more valuable than actually getting quality results from him. It creates a team member who is committed and dedicated to the team. Isn’t this what you really want? Someone who buys into the vision? Now, get out there and stop settling within your organization. The people you’re serving deserve better and I know you’re going to give it to them!