Here’s a simple truth of leadership…Your individual performance as a leader means nothing if the team you lead fails. As a leader, you can be the best athlete on the team or the best CEO in the world, but if those you lead are unable to perform at a high level right beside you than your performance as an individual means nothing. Here’s why…
If your performance as an individual leads to awards and recognition but the team you lead fails to meet those same standards, did you really succeed in your role as a leader? Isn’t your responsibility as a leader to motivate and inspire those you lead to perform at a high level and to accomplish a collective goal – not just to pursue your own individual accolades and success?
Two weeks ago I stressed the importance of holding yourself as the leader to a higher standard than those you lead and that remains the truth. As a leader, your performance should always set the example for what you expect from your team but if your performance consistently out shines the performance of those you lead then something must be done to change that.
One option would be for you as an individual to perform at a lower level but who in there right mind would want to do that? Alternatively, option #2 is to find another way to call your team to perform at a higher level of performance like yours. Just because you are finding success as an individual doesn’t mean that success in itself is enough to motivate those you lead to do better. You must explore different ways to motivate and inspire them to want to do better.
The reality is, as leaders, we know how diverse the makeup of our team is. We have motivated people on the teams we lead as well as those who struggle to find inspiration. We have people who have a rock-solid work ethic and we have those you do just enough to skim by. We have those who truly want to be members of a team and we have those who choose not to see anything but what’s in their own personal best interest. It’s easy to blame the failures of our team on the lack of motivation or work ethic among certain members of our team but truly successful leaders find a way to get through to those people and produce results.
If the performance of our team is suffering then we as leaders must make it our responsibility to change that. We can’t blame it on the members of our team who are unmotivated or uninspired. Some people may see your performance as a leader as a valuable source of motivation but others won’t so we must always be looking for other ways to call those we lead to perform at the highest level.
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