If your organization suffers from a good-enough culture, take heart: there are steps that you can take as a leader in overcoming a good-enough culture.
As I mentioned in a previous post, caring is linked to understanding. Author Chowdhury, in his book, The Difference: When Good Enough Isn’t Enough, suggests that leaders who apply these principles can demonstrate their caring and understanding and overcome the good-enough syndrome:
1. Truthfulness / Directness
Effective leaders must care about truth and model a culture of transparency and honesty. They deal with trials directly and openly, and reduce fear by welcoming feedback. These behaviors invite their direct reports to bring issues to the table and tackle them, with the incentive to solve the issues. Leaders who can shoulder bad news, responding with fairness and understanding, establish higher levels of emotional safety, accountability, and invite excellence.
When a culture of trust has been established, people tend to care more about the day-to-day issues. They experience a greater sense of empowerment to make things work better. Celebrating small successes lead to more successes and succeeding becomes desired. A leader who cares about making things right for everyone will create a following of people who want to do the same. Being truthful and direct builds trust, trust breeds higher standards and then good enough is no longer good enough.Celebrating small successes lead to more successes and succeeding becomes desired. Click To Tweet
2. Consideration for Others
Effective leaders authentically care about their people and are attentive to them. Showing them they are valued, the leader engages their people, listens to them and understands them. Their open, inviting communications skills demonstrate an empathetic mindset, where the leader is concerned about what their people are going through, and how things can be improved for them. This requires deep listening, humility and genuineness. Such leaders care enough to be helpful and in service of their people.
People respond by returning a leader’s authenticity with consideration of their own. They know they are affirmed and appreciated, which leads them to care about what the leader cares about, as well as each of their contributions. The staff become thankful, returning their leader’s thoughtfulness with their best efforts. Because good enough is no longer acceptable, quality becomes a desired trait of their work.