Lead To Expectations

Few things are less tolerable to high achievers than a “do-nothing” leader.

If you hold the leadership position, have the power to lead, and have earned the people’s permission to lead, but fail to lead…that is a recipe for disaster.

A few years ago, the new President assumed his leadership role in the firm with great promise and vision.  He did a masterful job of rallying together a fragmented partner group and painting a vision of what was possible. Unfortunately, he had one fatal flaw.  He failed to execute. He did not empower his team to act, and subsequently, could not stay the course.  His team became frustrated from lack of support and being second-guessed. The president did not lead.  He did not stand with conviction when representing the group with the parent organization.  They lost hope.  In less than 18 months the firm had a new leadership team.

Lead to their expectations and they will exceed your expectations.


Follow the leader?

Leadership is dynamic and thriving organizations require that dynamic from every member, at every level, in every relationship.

Edgar H. Schein wrote in Organizational Psychology: “Good leadership and good membership…blend into each other…in an effective organization.  It is just as much the task of a member to help the group reach its goals as it is the task of the formal leader.”

For this to happen, formal leaders must demonstrate faith in their members.


Leaders Build Loyalty

What is often obvious to the leader may not be quite so obvious to others.  Ever find yourself wondering why your colleagues or team can’t grasp the simple task required of them even though you’ve explained what they need to do?  Were you tempted to find a way to motivate, manipulate or, for a fleeting moment, malign them into the producing the results you wanted?  These tactics may get reaction, but they are shortsighted and can be costly.

Patiently building loyalty may be a more effective strategy.  Consider this…

Paul David Walker, in an interview with CIO.com , observed that one characteristic of Steve Jobs success was his ability “to gain the loyalty of brilliant engineers.”  According to Walker, Jobs primarily did that by turning the engineers ideas into a product that would sell and, therefore, becoming the engineers best ally.

Leadership engenders loyalty when the leader is selfless enough to help others benefit from their knowledge, talent, ideas and effort.

Next time you need an individual or a group to perform or produce a specific task, ask how you might become their ally and cooperate in a manner that helps them succeed.