Think back to your first supervisor of any kind. Did that person lead perfectly? Or, conversely, did you perhaps experience someone who did things “incorrectly” occasionally? Let’s be clear. That doesn’t mean that s/he didn’t do many great things, just that every once in a while, s/he made a “mistake.”
Like it or not, as a leader, we are being held to a higher set of expectations than perhaps we were held to in a non-leader position. Most of our behaviors and decisions are being evaluated (formally and informally) more than ever before.
One of the lessons I’ve learned is that regardless of this higher level of expectation, as a leader you must risk making even more mistakes in order to lead others towards results and higher levels of performance. You don’t improve as an individual or group without testing the limits, and as a leader it’s your job to test the limits.
In order to create a place where you can withstand some scrutiny yet still take risks, people that you work with must understand:
- Why you’re/they’re doing things, and
- You/they need to be able to discuss mistakes that have been made, what was learned from making them, and how the mistakes will be mitigated in the future.
Piece of cake, right?
As a leader, what other suggestions do you have for “balancing” taking risks with this higher standard of expectations?
Image Courtesy ABC. Copyright 2008