Question: Why don’t we see as many employees exhibiting excellence as we’d like – we know that many more employees are capable of it than actually display it?
Answer: Firstly, experience in Legitimate Leadership groups shows that only a minority of managers actually normally set out their expectations of employees. And even if they do, an even smaller minority of managers actually hold employees to account for those expectations.
This is even though, in our experience, groups of managers generally have no difficulty, when asked, in articulating a comprehensive list of behaviours and qualities that would indicate a person achieving excellence in a role – meaning they have a very clear picture in their heads of what this thing called excellence looks like.
So firstly, managers should actually do this! I believe that in not doing this, managers generally miss a crucial opportunity to enable their staff to strive for excellence in their jobs.
The Legitimate Leadership Model holds that a key enabler of employee contribution is ensuring standards and expectations are clear to employees.
Even when managers do actually do this, two problems often crop up:
If employees don’t have a clear picture of what excellence looks like, achievement of it will be accidental. The average employee absolutely cannot strive for excellence if she does not have a crystal-clear picture of what it looks like.
So while most managers have this picture clear in their own heads, they fail to place that same picture in the heads of their employees.
The fix is simple: regular conversations with your employees about what your picture of excellence looks like, and what help and type of support they require from you in order to strive for it.