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How To Create & Communicate Legendary Performance Expectations.
Welcome to the last instalment of this series on how to create highly effective performance expectations for yourself and your team. I trust Part 1 and Part 2 have proven extremely helpful in doing this as they are crucial for success and longevity.
In the late 1990’s, Sir Alec Ferguson, one of the most successful sporting coaches of all time, introduced the Dutch champion defender, Jaap Staam into Manchester United. Staam had a massive influence on the team’s success in his vital role as the “Stopper” at the back and he was a key member in the team’s UEFA Champions League success in 2000 and 2001. However in 2001, Staam published a biography in which he openly mocked and spoke critically of some of the other players and Alec Ferguson at Man U. Within months, Alec Ferguson had exiled him to the Italian Serie A. Ferguson knew the importance of team loyalty and that it was his job to create and uphold it. Staam could not stay, regardless of his achievements, as his presence undermined one of the core “house” performance expectations – Loyalty – that I spoke about in Part 2, and threatened to compromise the whole team.
As the leader, you will face some difficult decisions moving forward with your team, but just like Alec Ferguson knew, there are some things you cannot compromise on, because if you do, it will be to the detriment of the team. In Part 2 of this series, I began to outline the “House Rules” or, overarching performance expectations that all teams need to establish. Here are the remaining 5:
6. Resilience. You must develop the ability to bounce back when things don’t go according to plan. This way, you lead your team to keep getting back up because you do, time after time.
Colonel Sanders and his now famous chicken recipe were rejected 1009 times before history was made.
Billionaire, Richard Branson, launched Virgin Cola and the Virgin Credit Card – both failed but it didn’t stop him from going on to achieve phenomenal success.
Inventor, Thomas Edison, famously said: “ If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” There is no success without failure.
As outlined in my book, author Konrad Adenauer once astutely observed, “An infallible method of conciliating a tiger is to allow oneself to be eaten.” Quitters do not win; only those with an unswerving commitment to their goals do.
What do you need more resilience about?
Is your team resilient?
7. Integrity. Your word is your word. Make the right decisions for the right reasons, not for convenience. Integrity is inside of you – you either have it or you don’t. Be true to yourself and the team you lead. If your team cannot trust you, your influence to lead effectively is undermined. If your team cannot trust each other, the whole team’s performance will suffer big time.
“Live in such a way that if anyone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it.”
“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort, choosing what is right over what is fast, fun or easy; and choosing to practise our values rather than simply professing them.”
What do you need to be truthful about?
Does your team trust you?
Does your team trust each other?
8. Understanding the Vision – great leaders cast vision and ensure each team member has a crystal clear understanding of the vision and what their role is in achieving it. You must have processes in place to ensure each individual gains great insight into the vision and engage with it. Each person learns differently. Some people learn visually, some via auditory means. Some thrive in large group settings and are not fearful in asking questions in front of the group, while others would rather not understand than pipe up with a question to give them clarity – they need a formal one on one session instead. Harvey McKay, the CEO of McKay Envelopes whom I spoke about in Part 2 of this series, ensured each of his team members knew and lived his vision and it made them extremely successful.
What is your vision?
Do you know how your team best learns?
Have you clearly communicated it to each team member?
9. Discipline. This is the willingness to do what is required of you as the leader no matter what is happening around you and regardless of whether you are feeling good or not.
Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers ever, is reported to have hit over 10 million balls on the practise tee over his career! That is discipline and it’s paying the price.
What do you need to be more disciplined about?
Who do you have around you who lacks discipline?
10. Gratefulness. This is the last “House Rule”. You need to be grateful for the opportunity you have been given to succeed and have the humility to earn the right to do so. Not everyone has the opportunity to do what you do. Don’t take your position for granted. Treasure that thought and act accordingly. Jaap Staam, the Dutch Defender at Man U, should have been a more grateful team member!
What do you need to be more grateful about?
Who doesn’t have gratefulness in the team that you are part of or the team you lead?
Once you have the “House Rules” established, there are two key things that must underpin everything when establishing, communicating and maintaining your performance expectations for the vision to be achieved:
1. Accountability. The best made plans are laid to ruin if there is no measurement and follow up on individual and team performances. The things in a team that get done and improved upon are the things that are measured and followed up.
You the leader must be accountable or your team will not be able to fulfill its potential. It is crucial you are leading by example and are held accountable for your responsibilities so your team will open themselves up and also commit to the process.
Who are you accountable to for achieving what is expected of you as the leader?
Who leads you?
Individual team members must be held accountable for your leadership responsibilities to be achieved and for the team to have the ability to rise and grow to the next level.
Do you hold your team members accountable for achieving your expectations?
Has your team committed to the accountability process?
Who is not yet accountable?
2. Posture And Confidence. On a final note, whatever your expectations are, if you want them to become realistically possible, then you have to have posture and confidence regarding those expectations. If you’re not confident in your abilities and those of your team to achieve your expectations, then neither will your team be!!!
What do you need to have more posture and confidence about?
I trust this 3 part series on creating and communicating legendary performance expectations has encouraged you to:
- Look at the current process of casting your Vision and then making it relevant to each key team member via crystal clear performance expectations
- Implement “House” expectations of your team
- Be accountable as the leader to achieve your performance expectations
- Hold your team members accountable for the achievement of theirs
- Have posture/confidence in your team to meet your expectations. And have confidence in yourself!
What do you need to do to improve the creation and implementation of truly effective performance expectations in the team you lead?
Here are the links to the first two parts of this series just in case you missed them:
If you’d like to receive a FREE e-copy of my book, “The Dream Is Everything”, click here.