“She’s really hard on us,” is usually followed by one of two comments:
“. . . and I can’t wait to find a new job.”
“. . . yet, this work is extremely fulfilling.”
The first remark is made by those who work in spaces bankrupt of confidence. Meetings with the boss are interrogation sessions, requiring us to start from zero in proving our merit again and again. “I don’t believe in you,” is the clear message, so we work into the evening to protect ourselves from all conceivable criticism. Disdain dominates our thinking.
Fortunately, there are some leaders who model a better way (we must develop more). Their vision of us and our work is founded in a brilliance they are certain we possess. Their demands of us are not spoken for stakeholders, but are made on our behalf. Their words reveal a sureness of our achievement. They long for us to know an internal reward only achievers know.
Having high expectations of others does not make one a leader. Inspiring achievement while enabling us to discover our better selves, is the difference for which organizations long.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net