Repairing the Leadership Gap: Setting Expectations
Great leaders hold themselves accountable and actively make goals to improve every day. By understanding your personal strengths and weaknesses, you can effectively set inspiring expectations for yourself as well as your team.
Setting (and Upholding) Expectations
A discernable benefit of improved communication is self-awareness. Understanding your personal business strengths and weakness can help you set expectations for yourself and your employees. According to Plant, leaders who take public ownership of their path are the most effective. “The best managers hold themselves accountable, and that translates in leadership because it reflects character. If your employees see you holding yourself accountable, they are more apt to receive direction from you. It builds trust.”
Communicating that accountability is balancing act. While it’s important to remain focused on your vision, you’ll need to allow for mistakes and flexibility for change. Plant notes that failure is inevitable on any business path, but the ability to step back, redirect, forgive and move on is crucial. A calm approach combined with a “trust and verify” step is the best way to hold everyone accountable while maintaining a positive environment. “I don’t think anyone wakes up in the morning and says, ‘I think I’ll go fail today,’” he says. “It’s not usually intentional, so as a leader, I’m going to look at why it happened for me or for my employees and work to fix it. And then I’m going to practice accountability with trust and verify: ‘I’m going to trust that you did it, but I’m going to verify that it got done.’”
Lead the Way is a place for professional students to sharpen their leadership skills and achieve greater success—a goal that Plant believes should be a lifelong pursuit. “Leadership isn’t a one-time learning experience,” he says. “I teach at a national level and six months ago, I was in a class as a student myself. It’s important to evolve with your business.”
Want to close the leadership gap at your company? Consider attending BDR’s 2-day leadership workshop Lead the Way: Dynamic Leadership Skills.