Everyone knows that there are “unreasonable expectations.” But, are there “reasonable expectations” that we can have when it comes to our leaders?
I believe that there are reasonable expectations that we can have for our leaders. I believe that it is reasonable to expect honesty, integrity, diligence, dependability, and probably much more. But, I also believe that it is reasonable to expect some measure of results when it comes to our leaders or of those who would be leaders.
We live in a society that values effort as much as it values results. There exists a “moral equivalence” and an acceptance of just trying. “Just trying” is acceptable for a child who is up to bat at his first T-Ball game. Ultimately, in that environment, a 30% success rate over the span of an athlete’s career will land you in the Hall of Fame.
What can we expect?
What then, are the reasonable expectations when it comes to the performance or the results of our leaders? Can we expect any real tangible results? Or should we be satisfied that they are really trying their hardest to lead?
Let me say that I believe that it is reasonable to expect “something” from our leaders when it comes to results. It is altogether reasonable to expect them to either empower us to achieve or to actually spearhead an achievement through the power and influence of their leadership skills.
How do we make that a reality?
Where are we today? — The first thing that we must do is to do a thorough analysis of where we as an organization find ourselves today. Obviously, if we are in a crisis, we can’t make this a protracted process. But, we must know our starting point if we are going to know if we have achieved anything.
What are our resources? — The second thing that we must do is identify what financial or human capital we have available to us to work with. If we are in a cash crisis, we will need to focus on human capital. If we have plenty of financial capital, then we can go out and hire the human resources that we need in order to achieve the desired results.
What is our “appetite” for the change? — Is there a strong desire for change or the process improvements that may need to be made in order for us to move forward as an organization? Or, after considering our current status and our resources, are we content with the status quo?
What are our risks? — What is out there that can trip us up and cause us to fail? We must know the potential pitfalls.
What are our time constraints? — Do we even have the time to do something about our current situation? Is it too late? Or is it just not the right time?
Now that we have these answers . . .
Now that we have these answers we are in a position to formulate some reasonable expectations from our leader. And we can and should have expectations that they will provide or empower a tangible result.
If you operate in the corporate world, it is reasonable to expect that your leader will help you achieve your production, sales, service, or operational goals. Your leader should be “breaking down barriers” for you and making your success possible. If you present the barrier properly and it is within the span of control of your leader, then that barrier should disappear, or, at least, be knocked down a little to enable you to get over it easier.
If you operate in a non-profit or volunteer world, it is reasonable to expect that your leader will help you achieve your enrollment, attendance, participation, or involvement goals. Your leader should be the “standard bearer” and should lead by example with their own level of involvement.
What do we do if our leader is not effective? Join us in the coming days as we tackle that very difficult question.
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