At this time of year, most business leaders experience the same tension.
We started off the year with big goals for ourselves and our teams. Shared the company vision for where we are headed. Restated our company values as a level set of who we are. We provided encouragement, inspiration, and motivation for our team.
(On a side note, if you are a business leader and did not cast vision or state values at the beginning of the year – let’s talk. A team without a stated vision or company values is wandering! Give them direction and purpose.)
Yet, we are almost into March and your employee’s actual performance is not meeting the bar set at the beginning of the year.
Here lies the tension most leaders are facing right now.
These leaders, and possibly you, started off the year as an encourager and motivator to launch everybody into a strong start of the year.
However, some of your direct reports are not holding up their end of the deal.
They are not meeting the weekly or monthly goals stated. Whether it is the number of sales calls, proposals submitted, or progress on a project. They are missing the mark.
Do you continue to just be ‘nice’ and hope they turn it around? What if you say something, will that suck the positive energy out of the air? If they are underperforming now, will they become disengaged if challenged?
We remind leaders that what you are allowing, you are actually approving. You are approving their mediocre work. When you do not say anything, your team assumes you are OK with their underperformance.
Is it time to recalibrate?
Great leaders can recalibrate between relationship and responsibility. The relationship of being friends, yet the responsibility to get things done. The tension between truth and grace.
I encourage you to recalibrate and challenge your team into the responsibility they agreed to at the beginning of the year.
Over time, they will be grateful you cared enough to say something. You may find they have barriers they need your help, wisdom, or direction to overcome. With your redirect, they may actually be able to hit their goals for the year.
Do not be ‘too nice’ and do your team a disservice. Help lead them into greatness and not accept mediocrity.
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