A note to a colleague

I am happy to see you taking up reading this year. Reading de-clutters the mind.

On your question around rules of leadership, I have found that a good balance between expectations and care helps. Adam Grant has a beautiful matrix on this. You should Google it.

People live to your expectations, whether those expectations are high or low.

Always better to have high expectations of them and demand that execution meets it.
This will come with some discomfort, which is why you need care.

Care for people means taking a second look. When your teammate has any concern, check in on them at least once. Few people care to follow up on a teammates concern after a conversation. Most leaders usually only follow through on tasks. Be the outlier.

A pitfall of high expectations is that you might stop listening to reasons to lower your expectations. Not listening can come across as a lack of care. Always remember that people do not necessarily want you to agree with them as much as they want to know you’ve listened to them.

Measure your balance of expectations with care by your progress with listening.

You are blessed with a high learning agility. You reflect on your experiences. You are also sincere about your vulnerabilities. Never take these for granted. It is rare.

By all means, read to sharpen your skills, but do not forget to also learn the lessons life teaches you in your environment. The greatest books give you new eyes to see the lessons that have been in front of you all along.

I am rooting for you. Godspeed.

– Osasu Oviawe

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