One of the essential ingredients in the leadership recipe for success is ‘knowing your limitations’. This means being realistic about what you can and can’t manage in terms of workload. Far more frustrating is the woman or man who offers the world and doesn’t provide, than the one who didn’t offer it in the first place. Leading up a large organization or department can be incredibly fulfilling and is ideally suited to those who have excellent leadership qualities, but what many don’t realise is that being realistic about goal achievement is key to excellent leadership.
Most CEOs don’t live in a bubble. It’s likely that you have the same family and social commitments as anyone else. Those with a young family especially should always be wary of what they can and can’t achieve. Always consider whether you are compromising your ability to lead or your ability to be a loving parent at the expense of the other. Many CEOs often take up voluntary roles too such as trusteeships, but as much as it makes you the good guy to take up these roles, you are helping nobody if you can’t actually carry out what is needed of you for the role.
Plan your commitments
Every so often sit down and take stock of what’s ahead of you. What expectations have people got of you? What goals have you set yourself? Are there any big family commitments coming up? Make sure you’re equipped to achieve what’s in front of you (both the long and short-term) before you take on additional work or set yourself new goals. Your staff and family will thank you for this.
Set realistic goals
When it comes to setting goals for the workplace, whether it’s profits, production, wage increases or expansion, make sure they are totally achievable before you announce them. This means taking the advice of those in the know on board, and not assuming you know everything yourself. You may know, for instance, that you are in a position to up production by 25% next year, but what does the economic outlook say about spending habits. Consult those in the know before you make unrealistic goal announcements.
Being realistic, both about what you can achieve personally and about the goals your company can achieve is central to excellent leadership.