Not Meeting My Standards

Standards. Wow is that not a loaded word?

In listening to a high-profile coach – best known for the professional athletes he coached such as Tom Brady, Desmond Howard and Michael Phelps – the topic of standards came up quite a bit. There were two key points that resonated with me the most.

1 – You can’t expect everyone else to live up to your standards. You chose your path. You set the goal to be the _____. The people around you might be on a different journey. Expecting them to work as hard as you do when that is not their goal is unreasonable.

2 – For a second, let’s assume everyone in your circle has the same goal. Let’s say it’s to be the best basketball player in the NBA. To be the number one team. Not everyone has the same capabilities as you do. So, your standards, once again, may simply not be attainable for them.

So what?

Let’s stay with basketball as an example but you could insert any career – including stay-at-home childcare giver. Imagine you are on the team, and you are the point guard on that team. You pass the ball to one of your forwards and they don’t catch it. The pass was a brilliant pass. It almost defied the laws of physics AND it clearly caught your forward off guard. They weren’t prepared for the pass and likely not even thinking it was remotely possible it was coming their way. They couldn’t see the possibilities that you can see because your level of play is at a higher level than theirs.

Whose fault is it that the ball was missed?

Of course, we can fault the player who wasn’t as good as you and missed the ball, but we’d be wrong. If you are the strongest player on the team, then you must know the strengths and limits of the players around you. Yes, there is an opportunity to raise their game and bring their “standards” closer to yours. But on that day, at that moment, peak performance equalled their best on that day, and you tried to play to the best they might ever be or possibly never be.

If you are going to be a leader you need to know how to adjust based on the players on your team. Everyone is likely on a different journey (i.e., have different goals than you) and I can guarantee most everyone will have different capabilities than you. Some might overlap but you have a unique combination that is your special sauce.

Everyone brings something different to a relationship – to a team. Knowing our differences and recognizing the value in them – versus expecting them to be at your level – is a key differentiator for any leader.

Do you know the strengths and limits of the players on your team?

Would you like to?

DM me on whatever platform you are reading this blog and I can share more.

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