When right isn’t enough
Look around at the world we live today. The competitive nature of the workplace, the incredible changes created by technology and the constant need for us to be correct in our judgments and perceptions, require that we, as leaders, seek to be right all the time. However, being right is one thing and being reasonable is another.
For example, when we set goals for ourselves and our teams, are these expectations not only right, but reasonable as well? Over the years, we have many situations where reasonableness is overridden by the notion of setting objectives that are beyond the reach of both individuals and teams. These “stretch goals,” as called by Jack Welch at GE, are intended to test the determination of the executive and the members of his/her team to seek success beyond the reasonable capability of all concerned. However, if these unreasonable expectations are not met, everyone is likely to feel a sense of failure, even when the accomplishment was sufficient by logical standards.
Good leaders seek to set expectations for themselves and others that, when achieved, provide a genuine sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. In such a situation, people feel fine about themselves and will continue to do so as long as they are recognized and rewarded for what they do on a continuous basis. They become energized by success and encouraged to maintain the commitment necessary for continuity. When stretch goals are missed, the disappointment diminishes the desire to do what is right and the courage to do it, which breeds lethargy and despair. (Nothing I do is ever good enough.) Accomplishment is, to a certain extent, its own reward.
Norman J. York
York Career Development, Inc.
Houston and Austin
If you wish to become a leader, you can if you want to, not because someone else wants you to, no matter how many training seminars and webinars you attend or articles you read. If you wish to discuss strategies for becoming a leader, in service to others, call me at 512-656-8239.
Next issue: Influence without using authority
Using You Inner Power to Find Meaningful Work by Norman and Madeleine York is now available as an eBook from Amazon. Also in eBook, The Successful Entrepreneur by Norman York.