4 Promises Leaders Don’t Even Know They Make
As a leader, your team expects a great deal of you.
Their expectations constitute the promise of your leadership, but only 5-10% of leaders meet these expectations, according to Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results, by Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams.
Employees judge their leaders’ effectiveness on both explicit and implicit expectations, even when the expectations may be unrealistic or misunderstood.
- Explicit: Expressed expectations for outcomes incumbent with the role of a leader (fiscal responsibility, accountability, strategy and execution.)
- Implicit: Unspoken expectations employees have of their leaders (competence, fair treatment, commitment, engagement, listening, acting on suggestions, and providing meaning and direction.)
Leaders – and organizations – succeed or fail depending on whether or not leaders clarify their roles and goals, understand the impact implicit expectations have on their perceived effectiveness, and keep their promises.
The leadership agenda
When you step into a leadership role, employees assume you’ll fulfill both their explicit and implicit expectations. However, because some expectations are often unreasonable or unexpressed, leaders may feel they’re set up to fail in their efforts to fulfill the perceived promise of leadership.
Leaders need to clearly understand what people expect of them, and the best way to accomplish this is by asking those who work with and for them about their expectations. Leaders can accelerate their progress towards effectiveness by asking, learning, and then managing expectations – having those expectations become the bar by which they’re measured.
4 universal leadership promises
From the authors’ research and experience, they’ve identified four universal leadership promises. While most leaders are familiar with the terms, few see them as promises and often break them and suffer the consequences.
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