Reversing Mediocrity

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In another blog post titled Mediocre Is Not OK we make the point that having employees that are not growing will lead to failure.

Let’s go to the next step and discuss what a leader must do to ensure that critical component, growth, is the norm in your organization. Take a moment to read Mediocre is Not OK.

On Twitter @KellyHamon commented on the blog post saying, “As leaders we are the ones to motivate and inspire as well as find out why our staff aren’t growing.” So very true. It is our responsibility as leaders to ensure an atmosphere of growth, supporting the forward movement of every team member.

The first step is to accept mentally that poor performers, people who are stuck or just showing up, working in your organization are not normal or acceptable. This concept has a subtle component that bears repeating. It’s not that every performer is a high performer but that every performer is growing toward high performance.

There are different positions in every organization. The front desk receptionist must be growing to their highest performance just like the top sales person, or c-level executive. This attitude is necessary for success.

All of our work is based on this concept. Every word we write, class we teach, or advice we provide answers the question of this message: What is the role of the leader in ensuring growth and eliminating mediocrity in their organization? In this limited space here are a few things to think about as a leader:

Communicate – It’s difficult to operate in a Mediocre Is Not OK way quietly. You must communicate the uniqueness that this concept reflects.

Assess – Does your leadership process allow people to fall through the cracks? Do you know the performance levels and attitude of every employee? If you don’t know, assess your organization. Get back to the basics of one-on-one leadership. Can your managers handle this? Create an atmosphere and process where it’s not possible to hide from doing the work of the organization and pushing the strategy forward.

Level Set – If the norm has been to accept less than high potentials on a growth path create a plan to replace them in the organization. This can take time but should be a conscious effort.

Hire Well – The first day for a new employee should be an opportunity to contribute to a great career. It should be a continuation of a growing career path. The act of hiring should be much more than the act of filling a position. We’re hiring for a long-term relationship.

Root Cause – Has someone stalled? Find out why. What is the cause? It may be something outside work. It may be a policy that serves as a roadblock. Ferret out the cause and fix it.

Engagement – Gallup says that increasing engagement can add 240% to the bottom line. Consciously do the things that increase engagement.

This work is so personal, so individual. As a leader you can literally turn someone’s life around. Creating this atmosphere of growth, excellence, and performance is the foundation of great leadership.

To do this week: Identify where your organization is on this concept. Is mediocrity accepted? What will you do about this?

Let me know how it’s goes. Click the “comments” box below to participate in an on-going discussion via LinkedIn.

Jim Canterucci

I don't know everything. But I want to. The focus of our firm, Transition Management Advisors, is to develop leadership capabilities to create a championship culture, generate innovation, and successfully lead the resulting changes.

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On April 3, 2018
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