Vail Daily column: Setting the stage for success
Whenever we give someone a task or project to complete and we don’t provide them with the right tools, support, environment or expectations, it can be said that we are setting that person or that team up for failure.
This happens in the business world just as much as it happens in our personal lives, doesn’t it? We see it happen when we make rash decisions, hire staff without providing the proper onboarding or training and when we set unrealistic goals. As a matter of fact, setting people up for failure has become so commonplace that we now look at it frivolously or use the failure as the brunt of our jokes and usually at the expense of at least one person or team.
Maybe failure has become easier than success. I mean, it’s easy to look into the future and predict what we will never achieve or cannot do as opposed to being forward thinking and looking about what we can accomplish. And not only what we can accomplish but what our new hires, teammates, friends and co-workers can achieve. And I think that setting the stage for success can be just as easily done as it is to set someone up for failure, and save us tons of time, money and resources.
TEED UP FOR SUCCESS
Have you ever heard it said, “Teed up for success?” The ball is sitting on the tee, no wind, wide-open fairway, and it is just so simple to imagine a smooth effortless swing that sends the golf ball soaring beautifully straight down the middle of the fairway. But you see, the ball landing safely in the middle of the fairway is the result of hard work, practice, coaching and commitment. And whether we are talking about the professional golfer or the weekend amateur, when we think about being “teed up for success,” we have to remember what that actually means and the hard work and dedication it took to get there.
SET UP FOR FAILURE
Imagine just the opposite — we invite a friend or associate to a round of golf; they share with us they have never played before or it has actually been years since they have even swung a golf club. But since we really want to play and we need someone to round out our foursome, we tell them not to worry, all will be well and we will just have fun. And then what do we do? We tell our friend, and maybe now former friend, that we are teeing off from the back tees, we have them using rented or borrowed clubs and we forgot to tell them to bring enough golf balls. Fast forward to the sixth hole and our once-a-summer golfing friend is completely frustrated and maybe even embarrassed, he or she is dreading the back nine, our other golfing buddies are tired of playing a slow round, looking for golf balls after every shot, patience is wearing thin, and now they too are dreading the back nine. Everyone was set up for failure.
The very same thing happens in sales, in management, in the chores we give our children, in the homework that is assigned and in new tasks and projects in companies and organizations all over the world each and every day. And it is so easy to point the finger of “I told you so” instead of taking the time necessary to equip everyone with the proper tools and support, guidance and coaching, and appropriate setting of expectations to set the stage for success instead of failure.
Setting good goals, setting stretch goals, keeping them realistic and taking the time to help others get teed up for success may seem like it could be time consuming, but I can promise you that it is far less in time and energy when we compare it to the costs of setting people up to fail.
Are you teed up for success? Have you set the stage for others to succeed? I would love to hear all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org and when the stage for success has been set, it will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of http://www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.