Chapter 2 Pg’s 52 Lead With Love By: Gerry Czarnecki
Setting expectations that raise the bar from previous performance levels is an essential part of achieving peak performance. Seldom have organizations reached the highest level of success with complacency. The level of performance that is viewed as peak performance is not achieved by holding on to existing success. Peak performance is only possible when the leader reaches higher. No organization can survive if it attempts to maintain the status quo. You must constantly be looking for opportunities to “raise the bar.” If you truly love your staff, you will continue to raise the bar, because that is the only way to help them achieve their fullest potential. Obviously, at some point the bar can get too high, but you are likely to know that result when you achieve it. That is the point where you will know that you and the team have achieved excellence.
At the same time, as Joe Batten says, “No team ever finishes ahead of its leader. A truly responsive leader must dare to stand out from the crowd.” Leaders must set the bar high and must always be striving to increase their own achievement. Leaders cannot set an example that is weak or easy. It is up to you to set the bar high for yourself as well. These efforts must be focused on challenging associates to stretch to that next level, which is just slightly higher. Incremental improvement is the only useful approach. One small step achieved encourages another. On the other hand, pushing too hard and reaching too high can create frustration and new barriers to achievement. Balance is crucial.