Leaders: If you’re frustrated at the level of your team or vendor’s performance, then look no further than the mirror. Only in vary rare cases will a team perform better than the level of their leader. Why? Because it’s the leader who sets the boundaries, deadlines, and guidelines. It’s the leader who creates the culture, and sets expectations. As a result, no matter how gifted or creative a team is, if the leader is incompetent, insecure, or inexperienced, the team can only work within that framework.
A number of years ago, I had a client who “led by threat.” She had no idea how to inspire her team or vendors. Every instruction came as a threat: “If you can’t do this, we’ll find someone who can.” We had no incentive to rise to the occasion, since all we ever heard was how unhappy she was. She constantly felt the need to remind everyone that she was in charge. Plus, her expectations, deadlines, and parameters for projects were ridiculous. Whatever we recommended, she was convinced she knew better. To say the least, it’s was a difficult situation.
If an employee, team member, or vendor isn’t performing well, then a good leader fixes the problem – either by working with them or cutting them loose. Either way, he or she does it quickly so it doesn’t fester or create bigger problems.
So – if you’re constantly frustrated, yelling, or angry with your team, the odds are, it’s not their fault. Chances are, it’s the limitations you’re putting on their work. Set them free from your unrealistic expectations and insecurities, and watch them fly.
Have you ever been on a team with limited leader?