Leaders worth following always expect great things.
It’s human nature- people tend to live up to expectations. If you set the bar low, they aim low. If you set the bar high, they will aim high. While there is comfort in easy goals, I prefer to set the bar high for myself, my family and my team. Why? Because life is challenging enough without letting our limiting beliefs stand in our way.
The trick is to make sure that the expectations are realistic and that you communicate them clearly.
So how do you inspire growth without discouraging yourself or others?
1. Select an inspiring vision and navigate toward it. Make it motivating enough that the hard work required to achieve it will feel good.
2. Remember there will be a learning curve. A higher bar means a bigger stretch. Provide support and be on the lookout for progress not perfection. Each step forward is worth celebrating.
3. Expect failure. In fact you should plan for it. Make sure it won’t be fatal by picking your challenges wisely. You have to stay alive and stay in business in order to learn from your mistakes.
4. Be ready to apply the lessons you learn. Carve out time from your busy schedule to rest, reflect, and respond. Stay open to changing the plan as new information comes in.
Be a leader worth following. Expect great things and create the space for trial and error because it is the fastest path to lasting growth.
Who pushed you to achieve more than you thought you were capable of? Maybe it was a parent, a teacher, or maybe a boss.
My 9th grade English teacher, Lisa Condon opened my eyes to what I could learn and do. The woman was fierce and intimidating but she helped me find my limits and learn to overcome them because she was the first one to remind me since nursery school that failure is normal and necessary for growth.
P.S. – The title of this blog was inspired by the classic by Charles Dickens that she had us read, analyze, and discuss in her classroom