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There Is Always Something You Can Do About It
The reasons for poor performance or results are often complex and varied. Many factors contribute to the roadblocks that prevent superior outcomes.
Macro issues like the marketplace, the economy, the competition, and the supply chain can have a profound effect on what can be accomplished. More micro issues like resources, monies for incentives, policies, and directives are often beyond the control of a leader or team. All can circumvent top performance.
Weak leaders wait for tough times and moments to pass. Strong leaders act on what they can control.
As long as the cause or solution to a problem is external to a team or leader, it can’t be fixed or fully addressed. The best leaders won’t accept the reality that external factors play the largest role in determining great performance. They look inward, at themselves, and ask a powerful question: What is it about my leadership that is creating this outcome?
Superior and inferior performance in any arena always has more to do with leadership than most leaders are willing to accept. The qualities of financial strength, team interaction, client experience, decision-making, organizational culture, and many other outcomes depend more on leadership than they do outside factors.
Taking full responsibility for any and all outcomes is what great leaders do. This empowers them to seek and find answers that are invisible to those who offer the normal excuses and justifications for poor performance. Whatever the issue or challenge, leadership can make a profound difference.
Leaders who tolerate performance issues and presume external factors will dictate the possibilities for great outcomes simply guarantee mediocrity — or worse. This external locus of control, as it is called by psychologists, turns leaders into victims. It’s always amazing how unlucky victims become. Maybe this has most to do with what it means to be a victim in the first place.
Great leaders don’t always succeed or figure out the right approach, but they are never victims of external factors beyond their control. They know that excuses are the most destructive narcotics freely available to all leaders. They avoid them.
Instead, they take on the extreme responsibility necessary to achieve top performance. They know they are always in charge of how they see themselves and what they take responsibility for. This includes just about everything regarding team outcomes.