Leaders Go First

“I’m not certain we have the right group of leaders in place to get us where we need to go.”

This wasn’t the first time I’d heard thoughts like this from a senior executive inside a large organization in 2016. I know it won’t be the last. Leading through change is difficult. It requires strong, capable, aligned leadership. Often, it requires a markedly different approach from the way people and performance have been managed in the past.

Here is the truth: We have a leadership crisis.

Only 13 percent of the U.S. workforce is fully engaged, according to the latest Modern Survey research. That means most teams are missing out on tons of ideas, contribution and impact. That’s a leadership problem.

A common leadership theme I encounter on a weekly basis: Accountability. How do you hold people accountable to high performance standards? How do you align teams and enable them to deliver big results? How do you empower innovation and inspire breakthrough performance?

One idea: Go first.

Set clearly-defined expectations. Establish high standards. And hold yourself accountable first. Clearly communicate what people should expect from you.

When you show up and deliver consistently for others, it’s a lot easier to hold people accountable to high standards. Leaders go first. The most successful leaders create an environment of high performance standards and accountability that starts with themselves.

When you go first, it’s also easier to have courageous conversations when expectations aren’t being met or people are falling short of performance standards. In the enclosed video, I share how leaders can create a culture of accountability by going first.

VIDEO: Leaders Go First

Ryan Estis helps companies and individual contributors embrace change and achieve breakthrough performance. Each live event blends original research with compelling stories that move participants to take action. Ryan has 20 years of business experience working with the world’s best brands to initiate change, inspire innovation and deliver growth. Learn more about Ryan Estis.

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