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  • 元 Raising the bar, the Godfather of storytelling, & meaning > profit shortage

元 Raising the bar, the Godfather of storytelling, & meaning > profit shortage

Hey its Cristina & Jenni.

Each week, we shareleadership reflections, resources, and laughs to help you excel in your role (+ have fun along the way).

As two tech leaders, were here to lead in public by sharing what were learning in our day-to-day roles, encouraging others to do the same, and learning and growing as leaders together.


What were reflecting on this week

Youre setting a lower bar at work than you think.

Hear me out.

I dont mean intentionally - it's more that there's untapped potential waiting to be released.

The hard truth is that most of us - and our teams - could benefit from more accountability.

But putting it into practice can be difficult and uncomfortable.

Why? Because long-held beliefs get in our way.

Things like:

  • "I shouldn't have to micromanage people."

  • "They're experienced - they should know what to do without me spoon-feeding them.

  • Maybe Im the problem. Did I set clear expectations? Am I communicating well enough?

And this is particularly true if those around you, including your boss, are not modelling accountability.

As a leader, you're the driving force behind your team's actions and results.

So, its on you to set the bar high.

If you feel there's room to make your team's performance better and drive bigger business wins, then it's time to raise that bar a little higher.

And who doesn't want to aim for better?

Setting the bar high not only attracts top talent, but it also creates a culture of:

  • Personal growth and professional development

  • High-quality work and output

  • Higher team morale and job satisfaction

  • Trust, openness, and collaboration

These pieces make up the foundation of a culture of accountability, which we believe drives high-performance management.

And here's the thing: theres a strong connection between setting the bar high and accountability.

When accountability goes missing, you're left with:

  • No culture of giving or getting feedback from everyone

  • Unclear directions and expectations

  • KPIs that arent being set or met

  • Picking up some of your team's tasks

  • Avoiding awkward, but important, conversations

  • A team that is stuck instead of learning and growing

Sounds pretty terrible, right?

If any of this hits a bit too close to home - accountability might be slipping through the cracks, lowering the standards you're trying to set and show to your team.

So, whats this accountability we're talking about?

Think of it as the link that ties actions to results.

Its made up of several building blocks, and its real power is how these pieces work together.

Understanding each block and spotting where there are gaps can help you encourage accountability within your team and among your peers.

Because you dont have to model what is being modeled to you.

So, where do you start? Focus on these 3 areas:

Lets break each one down:

Set clear expectations.
  • Be very clear about what you expect from them in their role. This means being clear on the outcome you want, how it ties back to the why and mission of the company, how youll measure success, and what skills are needed to meet these expectations.

  • Remember that good ideas dont only come from you. The more skilled your team members are, the more ideas and strategies should come from them.

  • Take it one step further: Have a two-way conversation, and before it ends, ask the other person to document the important points. This way, you both know you're on the same page.

Regularly check progress.
  • Nothing is more frustrating for leaders than being surprised by results not being met.

  • This surprise is often because the person who should be delivering is scared to ask for help or because both of you were too optimistic. Either way, its completely avoidable.

  • Agree on weekly targets that are clear, measurable, and objective. If any targets are missed, be proactive and work together to get back on track.

  • Take it one step further: In your chat about role expectations, go over their KPIs in more detail. Make sure you write them down so they can be looked at again in the future if there are any questions about what was originally decided.

Guide via feedback.
  • Honest, open, and regular feedback is critical. People should know where they stand. This means that they are rewarded and recognized when they are on track and also, that there are clear consequences if they arent.

  • If you have clear expectations and ways to measure them, the feedback should focus on whether they are delivering on their expectations and KPIs.

  • Feedback can also go both ways is there something you can be doing to be more helpful? Aim to give and take feedback weekly, and remember its more important to be helpful and clear than to be nice and avoid harder conversations.

  • Take it one step further: Encourage your team to give their peers feedback and make it clear how important it is for everyone to keep each other accountable.

Once youve laid it all out, it's easier to see the gaps and make a game plan for improvement.

We think there will always be an area that you are overlooking - a chance for you to help your team (and yourself) be more accountable for results.

With clear expectations, measurement, and regular feedback, you'll build an environment where each team member is held accountable, making your team and the business perform better.

Thats the key to being a leader who's always aiming higher, inspiring not just your team but also your peers to do the same.

What area are you neglecting? How can you use this as a guide to raise the bar for your team (and yourself) moving forwards?

What were learning this week
  • Podcast - Dont miss Seth Godin on Tim Ferrisss podcast: We both geeked out on this episode as Seth, aka the godfather of storytelling, shared incredible stories from Viktor Frankl to the boss and the bees. They covered topics ranging from inspiring your team to find significance and making an impact to the power of choosing your attitude.

  • Newsletter - A playbook to improve your feedback muscle: A former Bridgewater employee, Dave received 12,385 pieces of feedback during his decade-long stint at the firm that's around 12 pieces of feedback per day! If you want advice on giving and receiving feedback, Dave's your guy.

  • Thread - Human approach to giving feedback: This thread by Dave offers some quick, actionable insights without overwhelming you with details.

What were enjoying this week

A gem from Seth that really resonated during his chat on Tims podcast":

Thats it for this week thanks for reading.

See you next Thursday! 元儭

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