These are good times. Sales are up, and business is good and improving. While this is good news, it is also a time for leaders to be vigilant. Success has a way of making us appear better than we are. It can be tempting to back off, slow down, and become complacent because all signs are positive. In fact, successful times are when we need to be investing in our personal growth and team development.
When times are difficult, we analyze and evaluate and make changes. It is tempting to take it easy and let business just come to you when things are going well. We begin to coast. And as it’s been said, if you are coasting, you are going downhill.
Start with Leading Yourself Well
Because it’s tempting to back off my daily disciplines and habits when times are good, I always want to monitor how I lead myself. In good times and in difficult times, how you lead you will be a litmus test for how you will lead others.
- Are you investing in yourself? You cannot give what you do not have.
- What are your priorities?
- Are you keeping your daily habits and disciplines?
It’s easy to allow a favorable business climate and success to make us think we are better than we actually are. We can easily assume we are doing everything we need to grow and improve our performance and productivity.
Set High Expectations for the Team
Leaders ask questions to fight against the temptation to coast. Use the following questions to set high expectations and model excellence for your team:
- Am I leading myself well and setting an excellent example for others? (see above)
- Have I set a clear goal or outcome for myself and the team?
- Have I established short-term objectives that will lead to that goal or outcome?
- Have I set clear priorities for the team so it is clear what we should be working on?
- Am I holding myself and my team accountable for making daily and weekly progress against those objectives?
Don’t allow solid business results to lure you into thinking you have arrived and that you can coast. Good times are a great time to invest in your team and in your focus on steadily improving.
Perry Holley is a coach and facilitator with the John Maxwell Company’s Corporate Solutions Group as well as a published author. He has a passion for developing others and seeing people grow into the leaders they were intended to become.