Do you often find yourself disappointed with your colleagues’ work? I know I do.
Some of my collaborators delight me. I am positively surprised when I see what they came up with. I can see their creativity and initiative. They love their craft.
But, other collaborators will do the bare minimum. Their work is full of mistakes. And they never take initiative.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because I assume you have a similar struggle.
Successful people have high standards. And, that makes it more likely that you will often be disappointed by other people’s work.
How do you deal with that? You cannot do everything yourself. You do not want your high standards to turn into procrastination or delays. Nor you want your high standards to become toxic perfectionism that demotivates your colleagues.
Here are some strategies to turn your high standards into a driver for success rather than a cause for frustration for you and others.
Cast an inspiring vision
Leaders with notoriously high standards, such as Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, knew how to share a bigger-than-life vision. It is easier to get people to rally around an inspiring future rather than around your bottom line.
Invest time and energy in hiring
Look for attitude more than skills. You can teach skills, but you can hardly ever change someone’s attitude. Search for people who are striving for excellence and are open to feedback. Most of my hiring mistakes happened because I did not dedicate the time and energy necessary to find those people.
Establish a constant improvement culture
Aim for progress and constant improvement instead of perfection. Establish reviews, check-ins, and feedback loops. But, also celebrate the milestones and enjoy the journey. Otherwise, your constant striving for “better” and “more” might become exhausting.
Create structure and processes
McDonald’s established a global empire that produces consistent quality without hiring A-players. Quite the opposite, they hire 15-year-olds with zero work experience.
How do they do it? Structure and processes. They have processes for creating the fries to cleaning the store. This is how they deliver the same product around the world. The more you work on processes, the more you will satisfy your high standards and minimize human error.
Your high standards are a good thing, but they have a dark shadow. They can delight your customers but may frustrate your colleagues. The strategies above will help you turn them into a positive driver for you and your company.