When Employees Set Standards

Source: Winning Every Day: The Game Plan for Success, by Lou Holtz

When Andy Heck played football for head coach Lou Holtz at Notre Dame, he switched positions on the offensive line. It was a tough transition.  One day, watching game films with the assistant coach, Heck complained about a negative grade the coach gave him for a play that Heck thought was OK.”Andy, I don’t think you’re an average player,” the assistant coach said, stopping the film. “Do you want me to grade you as an average player so your mark will be positive? Or should I grade you as a great player, in which case your performance on that play was a minus? You choose.”Heck chose “great player,” and Holtz says, “He immediately elevated his personal standards.”Heck became Notre Dame’s team captain and enjoyed a solid professional career with the Chicago Bears. Holtz believes the coach’s question that day—and Heck’s choice—launched that success.

Suggestion: Challenge employees to set their own standards. Their motivation to succeed will bestronger than if they try to reach goals others impose.