|A key role of leadership is to uphold the standards of the program or organization.
There are several ways to do this. One way increases performance and achievement. The other way decreases performance and achievement.
Average vs. Elite
Average leaders rely solely on authority or force to uphold the standards. They play ‘bad cop’.
Elite leaders use influence and inspiration to uphold the standards.
What I am not saying: I am not saying that when using influence there isn’t or shouldn’t be intensity or challenge. It just means that you are not pulling the ‘authority card’ out on a consistent basis.
How to get buy-in of the standards
When leaders allow input from their people to create the standards, they get increased buy-in.
What I am not saying: I am not saying that your athletes/staff/employees dictate all of the standards. In most cases, when a leader gives their people a voice, the standards they desire are what the leaders want as well. As a leader, you have the final say. But given the opportunity, those you lead will often come up with the same standards that you desire. And when people have a say, they have increased buy-in.
How to hold people accountable to those standards
How you hold people accountable will propel or repel people and the culture of your program. One helpful grid to look through when someone fails to uphold the standard is to ask “Is this an issue of skill, will, or capacity?”
– If skill, coach them up.
– If will (they refuse to meet the standard), investigate what is going on and if necessary, remove them. The best leaders investigate in a non-judgmental way. They make it about behavior, not personal. Average leaders confront in a way that creates division, pushback, and makes it personal. Remember that everyone is going through something they are not talking about.
– If capacity (they can do it, just not to the level that is needed), identify if there is a better role, if their capacity can improve, or take things off their plate. (and depending on their role and place in the organization, possible removal). Many times a role outgrows people. Or a leader ‘promotes’ someone to a role they are not suited for.
Collaborate on the standards.
Make sure there is clarity.
Lead with influence.
Hold people accountable to the standards they came up with or agreed to in a healthy way.
Don’t create a leader vs. everyone else (bad cop). Be a partner in upholding the standards.
PS. We have these types of conversations in The Tribe. The Tribe meets every 2nd and 4th Monday night. We discuss and break down topics like upholding standards, accountability, and influence. You will get a chance to discuss and hear from other coaches/leaders on how they navigate these issues and many others! Grow your leadership by joining The Tribe.