Great leaders expect greatness from themselves and in turn they challenge others to be great too.
They challenge people to do better, be better and to meet a higher standard.
They do it because settling for substandard, low quality, second rate leadership is not an option.
Great leaders set high standards for their own performance, and for those around them.
Leadership is about service to others, being your best so you can offer your best.
The high standards of great leaders extend beyond the work they do include being a person of character, a leader of integrity and one who inspires the same in those around them.
Here are some of the ways great leaders elevate the standard for themselves and for others:
Establish clarity. Standards reflect values, so before you establish or change them you need to know with certainty what’s most important to you and communicate that with clarity. When you’re clear on values, making decisions becomes much simpler.
Show self-respect. Never lower your standards for anyone or anything. The self-respect that comes with firm standards is everything. Whatever everyone around you is doing, stay true to your ideals. Do what you need to do and do it with meaning and purpose.
Passionately protest mediocrity. “Good enough” are some of the most dangerous words a leader can hear. Nothing great was ever established on a foundation of mediocrity. Always demand more from yourself than anyone else could ever expect.
Never let anyone tell you your standards are too high. There’s nothing wrong with wanting the best for yourself and your team. When you shift your standards you create change—positive change when you raise standards, negative change when you lower them.
Protect your standards. Make sure people know what’s expected, and be consistent in enforcing those expectations. If you allow disrespect, that’s what you’ll receive.
Never apologize for demanding excellence. Never apologize for high standards. Those who rise up to meet them are the ones you want around you; those who try and need help are the ones you can work with; and the ones who reject it aren’t your people anyway.
Lead from within: When it comes to standards, one thing I’ve found to be true: However high or low you place your standards, that’s how far people will rise.
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness is being released by Portfolio May 2017.