Raise the Bar Higher

WorkMatters Tips
Issue #2 –

29, 2006


Gayle Lantz





A quick tip to help leaders and executives who need to
motivate their teams and themselves, and catapult their business.

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 Raise the Bar Higher

 Are you falling into patterns of mediocrity as you go about
your day-to-day work? As creatures of
habit, it may seem natural and comfortable to conduct the same kind of Monday
morning meeting each week. 

 Some clients report they go to lunch at the same places with
the same people regularly. Does this sound like you? You read only familiar
publications you’ve read for years. You’re consistently calling on poor
prospects. You conduct performance reviews the same way every year. You’re tolerating team members that drive you
and the team crazy. Even if you’re not getting the results you want, you’re
somehow stuck in practices that don’t serve you well.

If you find yourself stuck in mediocrity, it’s time to raise
the bar. You can raise the bar by taking small steps. Here are a few ideas for
you and your business.

 For You:

 –Note one aspect of your work that is not serving you well.
Maybe you’re spending too much time on administrative tasks. Other possibilities
might be: your presentations are weak, your meetings are unproductive, your
technology needs upgrading. Maybe your desk is a mess. Whatever it is, decide
to do something about it, even if you don’t know what that something might be.

 –Commit to taking just ONE action in that area that you
know needs to be addressed. Do something that you know will improve it. Don’t
feel pressure to completely transform that aspect of your work. Take a first
step. It may be as easy as making a phone call, changing an agenda item or
researching some options. Taking the initial action will help you identify next
steps so eventually you’ll perform at a higher level.

For Your Team:

 –Challenge your team to do the same. Help them break the
patterns or habits that don’t serve them well. Identify any aspect of how your
team is operating that, if improved, would help the team achieve better
results. Look at just one area, otherwise this exercise can be
overwhelming. Possible areas include:
responsiveness, productivity, efficiency, internal relations, reputation,
innovation, communication flow, support, knowledge, focus, morale. Pick one of these or choose one of your own.

 –Get everyone’s commitment to make whatever change is
necessary in that area. For example, maybe the team can streamline a process
that’s out of control or they can identify a better way to exchange ideas and
information. Talk about how the team will be operating when performance
improves, the things that will be working extremely well, the “new and
improved” team. It will help generate excitement about even better results.

Raising the bar doesn’t have to be complicated. It starts
with commitment and simple steps. Keep raising the bar higher by constantly
setting new standards and practices that reflect your team’s highest
capability. Don’t settle for less.

If you have questions or topics you’d like to see addressed
in future

issues, mailto:gayle@gaylelantz.com?subject=Topics 

 P.S. If you have
trouble getting your team to improve in some way, ask me a question, and I’ll
be glad to respond. Send your question



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