John Steinbeck, the great author, said it as well as it can be said: “It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him.”
The opposite is true too. That is perhaps the most important, yet most often overlooked, key to your success as a leader. If you want to achieve great results (and why would you want anything less?), you must expect great results from yourself and others.
Especially as a new leader, you need to continuously look for ways to raise the bar on your own performance. That’s how you will gain the trust, respect and loyalty of your employees. They’ll see you performing at a high level, while always striving to improve. Once that trust and respect is built, they’ll likely do their best to match your devotion and effort.
Starting today, make it a daily goal to take your performance to the next level, using this strategy. Read the Steinbeck quote aloud five times. Then take a look at your to-do list or plan for the day. Decide immediately what you can do to raise expectations of yourself for the rest of the day. Repeat the activity each morning so that you continuously expect more from yourself. Once you have effectively raised expectations of yourself and your own work, do so for your team.
Important: Just remember to be fair with yourself and your employees. Unrealistic expectations can be more damaging than no expectations at all. However, if you set lofty, challenging (but completely attainable) goals and expectations for yourself and your employees, you will be able to achieve remarkable things.
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