"Set the Bar High" - For IT Pros Newsletter -February 2015
 February 2015

Set the Bar High

Henry Ford is reported to have once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t - you’re right.”

That’s great insight. Too often people place self-imposed and artificial limitations on themselves. They tell themselves that they cannot accomplish something because they aren’t smart enough or don’t have enough creativity. They close their minds to the idea they can, in fact, succeed. Success, after all, is scary to many people.

As a leader, one of your jobs is to inspire your team. Help them to recognize and realize their potential. Don’t let them settle for something less than what they were created to be.

If you believe in your team and regularly communicate that belief in words and actions, you’ll be amazed at how much each person can accomplish.

I’ve found that people generally live up to my expectations of them. If I set the bar low, they’ll live up to it. If I set it high, they’ll rise to the occasion.

How high is the bar you’re setting?



I’ve got someone on my team that misses deadlines 5 or 6 times per year. That annoys me, but it never seems to be his fault. Sometimes another team didn’t deliver on their promises, or maybe a vendor didn’t provide information he needed. What can I do?


You’re not the only one facing this issue. This scenario is far too common, not only in business but in all walks of life. People don’t like to fail so they look for others to blame, especially when tasks have very specific deliverables with firm deadlines.

The thing to remember is that you assigned the work to this individual. He is responsible for accomplishing it. If he requires input from another person, another team, or even another company, that’s part of the task that you’ve assigned. He must realize that he owns that as well as the things he can do himself. Obtaining information from others is part of the job.

You can address this a couple of ways. First, while delegating the task, make it clear to him that this task may require input from others and that he is responsible for seeking out and obtaining that information. Ask him to regularly report his progress to you. Coach him on ways to handle situations where others are becoming roadblocks for him. Be careful not to solve his problems or to take back the task from him. Help him to accomplish those tasks.

Second, if he unexpectedly misses another deadline and blames someone else, give him feedback. Share with him the importance of timely and accurate progress reports. Communicate that he owned all aspects of the task, including those things being done by others.

By helping him to recognize his ownership of the issue, you’ll help him to grow as an individual.

The High Cost of Bad Bosses

Thanks to Matthew Pelletier, Director of Public Relations at C&S Safety Training Videos, for bringing this cool infographic to my attention.


Leadership Tip of the Month

"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
~ John Wooden

Recommended Reading

In This Issue

  • Set the Bar High
  • Ask FITP
  • The High Cost of a Bad Boss
  • Leadership Tip of the Month
  • Recommended Reading

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