If you expect your followers to do things that you yourself are not willing to do as a leader – you have no place in leadership. If you expect your followers to uphold a certain standard of performance that you yourself do not uphold, you have no place in leadership. And if you expect those you lead to go above and beyond, but you yourself do the bare minimum, you have no place in leadership…
The simply reality is, I am sure those three very direct statements above have triggered a good portion of people reading this because many “leaders” are in leadership roles for the wrong reasons. Many “leaders” sought leadership roles with their only intention being to abuse that very power.
By forcing followers to do all of the “grunt work” that the “leaders” themselves don’t want to do, you breed a level of distrust and disrespect among followers. This doesn’t mean that to be an effective leader, the CEO of an organization must clean the floors of the organization that they run, but it does mean that CEO must show appreciation to the person responsible for cleaning the floors for the work that he/ she does.
When employees and followers feel under appreciated by the leader for the work that they do, their lack of morale and motivation will spread like wildfire throughout their organization.
In addition, those “leaders” that expect their followers to uphold a standard of work and performance that they themselves don’t even uphold create an atmosphere of animosity towards the leader. How is it fair to expect others to meet a standard that you yourself as the leader do not meet? Why would they believe that standard is achievable if you as the leader don’t even achieve it?
Those of you still reading this post have likely experienced a “leader” like this. Am I right? Have you worked for someone who demands you do work that they themselves wouldn’t dream of doing? How’d that make you feel? It probably frustrated you beyond measure and depleted your respect for that “leader”, right? Who wants to work for a hypocrite? How can you as a leader expect followers to be on time for meetings when you yourself consistently come strolling in with your fresh coffee ten minutes late?
Followers accept the behaviors of their leaders as acceptable and replicate those very behaviors.
But on the contrary, who has worked for a leader who truly makes you feel respected and appreciated? Who has worked for a leader who does everything in their power to support you in your role and who acknowledges the sacrifices and hard work that you put forward for them? How does it feel to work for a leader who’s everyday actions and attitude reflect the very standard they expect you to uphold? IT’S DOWNRIGHT MOTIVATING, RIGHT?
As a leader, the expectations that you set you YOURSELF are the most important. If you set and exceed high expectations for yourself, those expectations set for your followers suddenly become that much more achievable. ALWAYS hold yourself to a higher standard than you hold your followers to and watch what happens to their performance. Motivate them by your own actions and attitudes and watch the results. Always show appreciation for even the most trivial tasks they do and watch the culture of your team transform!
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