I was jolted into reality last week at how easy it is for a leader, who is passionate about what you are doing, to fall into the trap of expecting super-human performances from your team. As a young and growing company, we are “green-fielding” our organisation: establishing procedures, roles and systems. And in doing this we need our team to be agile, to be super-human multi-taskers who step beyond their boundaries and job descriptions. What I have recently discovered is that perhaps my expectations are unfair.
Many business and entrepreneur experts pound into our heads the idea that a new business or a start-up needs to establish its company culture from the outset, entrenching vision and mission statements and company culture into any new team member who joins. According to some, organisational culture is a set of shared mental assumptions that guide interpretation and action by defining appropriate behaviour for various situations. Easier said than done!
You may recall Malcolm Gladwell's hugely popular book Outliers which is largely responsible for introducing "the 10 000-hour rule" to the masses. That ten-thousand-hour rule is something that I have supported for years - somehow the notion of achieving success after doing the same thing for ten thousand hours appeals to my tenacious nature.