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Continuously Raising Standards

1 min
raisingthebar  ✺  highstandards  ✺  leadership  ✺  management

In a prior post, we discussed how one of the key responsibilities of a leader is to continuously raise the standard of the organization they are leading. When first joining the team, it is generally easier for the leader to observe the difference in standard between prior teams they have led/observed and to drive improvement accordingly. However, as the leader spends time in a role, it can become harder to identify areas where the team can do better (boiling frog analogy).

Here are three tips that I wanted to share on how a leader can continue to raise the bar over time:

1️⃣ Invite Inspection: Invite other leaders outside your own organization to review aspects of the work and/or team you lead. While this does take both courage (who wants to be criticized) and openness (to listen and act upon the feedback vs. defend), it can provide invaluable external perspective-based inputs. One example is inviting a senior tech leader from another organization to review a draft of your tech strategy.

2️⃣ Spend Time with New Joiners: Spend time with your new joiners with an aim to learn from them basis their observations. You want to ensure to create a safe and trust-based relationship so that they provide you with their feedback in an open manner. Inputs from these conversations can provide fresh perspective on where you need to deep dive and inspect to see if standards need to be adjusted.

3️⃣ Learn from Inspecting other Teams: Take the time to work with other teams and take advantage of any inspection opportunities that come your way and/or create ones. This will help you identify areas of learning for your own organization. An example of this is attending a promotion review, say, from another organization and learning from the discussion on how talent is assessed or attending an operational review from another team to learn about best practices on operational and engineering excellence.

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