3 Rules for Inspecting What You Expect

Timothy’s Thought for Thursday

Consider this, great “leaders inspect what they expect.” In business, leadership inspects as part of their risk management and quality assurance. Without proper inspection methods, even successful leaders experience how quickly things can go wrong. After more than a decade of developing people and performance, I realized that it is an important principle of success, to inspect what you expect, and to do it the right way.

Inspect what your people need in order to create the results that you expect from them.

Inspection should not be performed like a rudimentary audit or a check-and-balance task. Great leaders go way beyond that and see that their company is made of human beings and not human doings. Below are three rules for inspecting what your people need in order to create exceptional results together:

  • Inspect what is important: People need to know that they are important and that what they do is important to support the leadership and company in achieving desired results. This needs to be communicated to them to create motivation, responsibility, and accountability. They are empowered because they know they are important to the overall success of the organisation.

  • Inspect what is agreed: People need to have clearly set expectations. Job descriptions and key result areas are good but to obtain the understanding and agreement of your people in doing what they are expected to do is golden. I have shared before that leadership needs to be flexible enough to try different ways to express themselves until they succeed in being understood.

  • Inspect to create results: People need support and presence from their leadership. Ineffective leadership “orders” results from their people. In the short-term, they create results, but in the long-term, they get rebellion and low engagement creating poor results. Great leaders are servant leaders. They support their people to be better and achieve better results by asking great questions and leading them to the right answers.

Remember, happy employees = happy customers. Happy and productive people do things because they want to, not because they have to!

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“Don’t expect what you don’t inspect.” ~ W. Clement Stone in his book, The Success System That Never Fails (1962)