Assume You’re the Problem

As leaders, it’s easy to fall into the trap of assumptions.

We hear a complaint, notice a dip in performance, and immediately jump to conclusions. But are we addressing the real issues — or just reacting to noise?

To separate fact from fiction, we need to rely on objective measures: data. Metrics don’t lie. 

If someone tells you the team isn’t performing well (or you sense it yourself), let the numbers do the talking. Review the trends. Is performance truly declining, or is it just a one-time blip on your radar? Compare data over time to spot patterns and anomalies.

However, I will say that data alone isn’t enough. 

We must dig deeper to understand the root cause. Is the problem systemic or isolated? It’s easy to let a few bad apples cloud our judgment. We fixate on individual frustrations and assume the entire team is failing. But often, it’s a minority causing the uproar.

If it’s indeed a team-wide issue, look inward. 

What role do you play in this as leader? Perhaps the provided processes are flawed or your expectations unclear. 

Imagine, for example, a decline in client intake. Leads are consistent, but sign-ups are down. What’s happening at the front lines? Are protocols being followed? Are there accountability measures in place?

Implementing robust systems can prevent these issues. When expectations are crystal clear and processes non-negotiable, there’s no room for error. People will naturally gravitate toward the path of least resistance. Our job as leaders is to ensure that path leads to success.

In the end, leadership is about clarity and accountability. It’s about basing decisions on facts, not assumptions, and creating environments where success is inevitable. 

So the next time you’re tempted to react — pause, gather the data, and address the root cause. 

It’s the only way to move forward with certainty and purpose.

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