How to get what you want by raising your standards

Are your beliefs holding you back from the life you deserve?

How to get what you want by raising your standards

I should lose weight.

I should be more confident.

I should earn more money.

I should have a more passionate relationship.

How to get what you want by raising your standards

But what happens when you decide something is an absolute “must”? What happens when you cut off any other possibility than you succeeding – when you upgrade your standards and decide that you will never settle for less ?

When you raise the standard for your life and turn “shoulds” into “musts,” you are making an inner shift to take control over the quality of your life. Only when you decide to accept nothing less than your ultimate goals will you achieve them.

Determine where to raise the standard

Most of us have numerous areas of life where we could raise our standards. Three of the most common are creating healthy relationships, finding a fulfilling career path and improving our health.


Your relationship is a direct reflection of your standards. Some people are in a relationship but they aren’t happy – because their standard is that they must be in a ny relationship, not that t hey must be in a relationship with passion and excitement that cultivates pure joy and love. Others may not be in a relationship because their standard is to never get hurt.


Tony tells us that, “Your income right now is a result of your standards, it is not the industry, it is not the economy.” If you are not making the money you desire, you haven’t reached the position you want or you are stuck in an unfulfilling career , it’s because your standard is to accept any offer that comes your way. Raise your standards , and you’ll raise your worth.


Our health is also the result of our standards. Many people wish they were thinner, healthier or more fit. But wishing something and willing it are not the same thing. You must raise the standard for your health by making it a “must.” Tell yourself that you must get healthy in order to lead an extraordinary life.

How to get what you want by raising your standards

How can you raise your standards?

There are two proven steps to raise your standards and begin living the life of your dreams.

Step one: Determine how you think about yourself

If you want real change, you have to be willing to do your part to upgrade your standards . And it starts with asking yourself, honestly, who you are. Your beliefs create your world – what do you believe about yourself?

Are you a winner? Or are you always a step behind? Are you the life of the party? Or are you more reserved?

Answering this question and discovering what your true beliefs are about yourself is critical. Because this is your identity. And the fact is we are hard-wired to follow through on who we believe we are.

Consider someone who wants to quit smoking. He may say to himself, “I’m going to do my best to stop smoking, but I’ve always been a smoker.” It doesn’t matter how hard he tries : i f his identity is that he is a smoker, it’s futile. And the days until he is back smoking again are numbered because won’t raise the standard for who he is – a nd we act consistently with and ultimately become who we believe we are.

Step two: Break through your limiting beliefs

Most people, if they look at how they are living their lives today, will find that this set of limiting beliefs about themselves was created 10, 20, 30 or more years ago. In fact, many of us made decisions when we were kids about what to believe, what we are capable of and who we are as a person, and that became the glass ceiling that controls us.

But are you the same person you were back then? Are you the same person you were even a year ago? Human beings change constantly because we are driven by growth and self-improvement . You naturally want to raise your standards – only your limiting beliefs hold you back.

Many people stop working to break through that glass ceiling. They chalk it up to “that’s just the way it is in my life,” or tell themselves “that’s just who I am.” But ironically, when you do this, you are actually denying who you really are. You are living under a false identity that is based off of false beliefs you adopted in the past.

So how do you define yourself? And when did you start to believe that? How many years ago did you decide what you could and could not do in your life? Don’t you think it’s time to raise the standard , turn your “shoulds” into “musts” and give yourself a new identity?

Header image © altafulla/shutterstock

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

How to get what you want by raising your standards

Consider the postage stamp. When it comes to standards, the postage stamp can go no higher. Whatever the letter or package costs, the postage stamp is willing to pay the price. It does not ask for a discount or to be sent free. It pays what is asked of it. Its standards are among the highest in the world. What about you?

What is the difference between something you should do and something you absolutely must do?

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “The things easy to do are also easy not to do.” In other words, the things you should do are things that are easy not to do and so you don’t do them. Some of these things are:

I should eat healthier.

I should exercise more.

I should treat my spouse with respect.

But when you absolutely must do something, as if your life depended on it, there is a shift and change in you. If eating healthier meant you would live or die, then you most likely would do it. The same with exercise and treating your spouse with respect, if your life depended on it, you would make the necessary changes.

When you raise your standards and turn “should” into “must,” you are making an inner shift to take control over the quality of your life. Any area in which you are not getting what you want is because you haven’t raised your standards.

According to author Tony Robbins, “Most people, if they look at how they are living their lives today, will find that their identify is based on a set of standards and a set of beliefs they created 10, 20, 30 or more years ago. In fact, many of us made decisions when we were kids about what to believe, what we are capable, and who we are as a person, and that became the glass ceiling that controls us. But are you the same person you were back then? Are you the same person you were even a year ago?”

I’m just going to say it, you have to demand excellence from yourself. Don’t be mediocre. Be world-class. Don’t settle for status-quo, be relentless. Pursue excellence. “People are rewarded in public for what they’ve practiced for years in private,” said Tony Robbins. Never ever give up. Raise your standards.

Best-selling Author Brendon Burchard says if you raise your standards in these five areas, your life will dramatically improve:

1. Health. Have you ever said, “This is going to be the year I get in the best health of my life”? If not, this is the year to do it. Improve your health and becoming happier and more energized and effective happens almost automatically. Raise your standards on how much sleep you get and how well you eat and take care of your body.

2. Focus. Distraction is stealing your life. Get more focused on what you desire in this hour, this day, this life. Bring your awareness to this moment and what you want to be doing and experiencing now. That will help you be more conscious and more easily spot distractions.

3. Boldness. Where you are in life right now is a direct reflection of how bold you’ve been up to this point. How boldly do you share yourself, your ideas, your needs and dreams with the world? How courageous have you been to fight after you’ve fallen down. Demand of yourself to be more bold and you’ll feel more confident and influential over time.

4. Joy. Do you expect that you’re going to have fun today and in life? Better yet, do you demand of yourself to be the person who brings the joy, who has fun and helps others have fun no matter what? Joy is a choice not a happenstance blessing. Bring the joy.

5. Kindness. People are so driven and distracted that they’ve often lost the awareness to be kind to others. They might call themselves compassionate, but they are not kind. Kindness is compassion activated – you actually show you care through your actions. Raising your standard here will help you reach higher levels of happiness, service, and humanity.

And there you have it. If you want to go deeper with me on this subject, sign up for my Free Academy Training. Your free invitation can be found inside my book, How a Postage Stamp Saved My Life.

How to get what you want by raising your standards

Raising your standards will take your life to a new level. Doing the same mediocre things on a daily basis will most definitely confine you to a life of conformity. You must step up your game on a daily basis in order for your life to change. May these quotes inspire you to raise your standards to a whole new level so that you may live to your full potential.

“If you want to change your life you have to raise your standards.” Tony Robbins

“Raise your standards to create change.” Anonymous

“Key to success? Change the status quo. Raise your standards.” Anonymous

“Never apologize for having high standards. People who really want to be in your life will rise up to meet them.” Anonymous

“Raise your standards and the universe will meet you there.” Anonymous

“Never lower your standards to fit in with other people.” Anonymous

“We only get what we believe that we deserve. Raise the bar, raise your standards and you will receive a better outcome.” Joel Brown

“Raise your standards and you will rise along with them.” Mastin Kipp

“When you set standards and stick to them, there will be people in your life who will fall away. Let them.” Anonymous

“Raise your standards to exceed your expectations.” Cecily Morgan

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” Roy Kroc

“Demand more from yourself on a daily basis to make your dreams a reality.” ATGW

“Let your grind be a reflection of the standards that you have set for yourself.” ATGW

“Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.” Mandy Hale

“Let your actions prove that you’re committed to living life on a new level. Get rid of the people and thoughts that confine you to an average existence. Raise your standards and aim for greatness.” ATGW

“What changes people is when their shoulds become musts.” Tony Robbins

“Love yourself enough to never lower your standards for anyone.” Anonymous

“Your actions and your words should always agree with each other. Don’t say one thing, then do another.” Anonymous

How to get what you want by raising your standards

  • Share
  • Pin it
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

From word clouds to network data visualizations, infographics have become a primary format for content in a relatively short period of time. Although the ‘infographic’ is nothing new, its proliferation and evolution has been nothing short of exponential in the past few years.

Whether you love them or hate them, the rising popularity of infographics can’t be denied.

If you want to get a message across, whether it is for your business, blog, or book club, using an infographic can be the best way to do it. If you’re incapable of drawing a recognizable human stick figure, let alone an entire data visualization, you may be agonizing over the disturbing fact that infographics are all the rage.

It just so happens that there are many people out there who want to deliver a message using an infographic who do not have any artistic skills. It’s lucky for us that tools and resources have popped up all over the place to help even the most hopeless of us (like me) create beautiful infographics.

I’m going to show you how to do it in thirty minutes or less.

Rules of Engagement

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, there are some basic rules you need to follow when creating infographics. At least you need to follow them when creating infographics people will want to actually read.

Just because you’ve put together a picture with words and numbers doesn’t make it an infographic, certainly not an effective infographic. Before starting, make sure you have the following rules in mind:

  • Make a point: Don’t just slap useless numbers on a chart. Your infographic needs to have a clear and strong beginning, middle, and an end. It must read like a story, not like an excerpt from a trivia book.
  • Don’t waffle: If you find a juicy piece of data that fascinates you but isn’t relevant to your message, please refrain from including it in your infographic. Go marvel over it in private and don’t take your readers off on a tangent. Stick to the point and make it simple.
  • Check yourself before you wreck yourself: For the love of all that is good in the world, do not go to randomguysblog[dot]wordpress[dot]com and assume that all information there is fact. Get your information from credible sources and cite them at the bottom of your infographic.
  • Brand it: Make sure it’s clear that you or your organization created the infographic.
  • Make it sharable: Whether you include tweetables, a Pin It button, Facebook share, or whatever your social network of choice is, make sure that people can spread the word about your new stunning infographic. Don’t forget to also include embed code so people can put your infographic on their own website.

Creating Your Infographic

Since this is an article about infographic creation, it seemed appropriate that I should include an infographic. I’m going to create this infographic using the steps outlined below

Step 1: Research

It’s called an infographic for a reason. You have to include some useful information. Without it, your infographic becomes art. Worse, it becomes very bad art. So, do your homework and do it well. You may be able to skip this part if you’re a true expert in your topic, but even then, it’s good to do your homework. It’s important to do this part first, since the data you decide on displaying will determine what kind of infographic you need to create.

Step 2: Choose a Template

How to get what you want by raising your standards

I use Piktochart to create all of my infographics.

Out of all the tools I’ve used, Piktochart is by far the best when it comes to a combination of flexibility, options, and overall ease of use. The trick is to pick a template that will do a good job of representing your data without you having to modify or customize it too much. This is where your research from step one comes in. Use it to decide what kind of layout will best suit your data.

Piktochart offers a wealth of templates, so you won’t have a problem. You can sign up for a free account or paid account. If you plan on creating infographics more than a few times and you want to do it without spending hundreds of dollars on a graphic designer or losing your mind, I suggest investing in the paid account.

Here’s a snapshot (on the right) of just a few templates I can choose from in my Piktochart account.

Step 3: Insert Data & Customize (30 minutes)

Take all the data you gathered from step one and put it into the template. Although we’ve basically eliminated the need to consider the design of your infographic, it’s still important that you can present the data in an organized and sensible way. Use arrows to help information flow and make it scannable as you would a blog post.

Step 4: Reveal Your Infographic to the World

Here’s the infographic I made in 32 minutes as a demonstration for this article. After doing the research, it was just a matter of organizing my data and inserting it. I had to do only a little customization since I picked a template that suited my data well.

If you are willing to spend a bit more time, you could make your infographic longer and more in-depth!

How to get what you want by raising your standards

Add this infographic to your site:

Featured photo credit: Downwards shot of woman employee via Shutterstock

How to get what you want by raising your standards

How to get what you want by raising your standards

You know manifesting works for other people, but you feel as though you’re missing something to make it work for you.

The number one reason most people get stuck while manifesting is they don’t know every vital step to manifest and co-create with the universe.

Here are the seven steps to manifest anything you want — including money.

Step 1: Get clear on what you want.

If you don’t know exactly what you want, you can’t actually take steps to make it happen. To manifest something, you must know what you desire.

That means you must get very clear on the specifics, detailing the features as if your manifestation is tailor made for you.

To get started with this step, create a list of 20-25 things you want to manifest. Get specific about what you want and list the attributes in the positive (aka avoid using the word don’t).

“I want a car” might land you a 1965 El Camino without a working engine.
“I want a used SUV with less than 30,000 miles on it that’s priced under $15,000” streamlines your search quite a bit.

Side note: As you create your list, give yourself permission to want what you want today and be open to changing it tomorrow. Judgement of yourself doesn’t help you manifest anything.

Step 2: Ask the universe.

Once you have your list, it’s time to amplify your signal to the universe by asking for what you want. When the universe is clear on what you want to manifest, then it can help you. If you don’t ask, it will still try to help you, but it guesses as to what you truly desire.

Don’t leave what you receive up to chance, ask for what you want.

There are a lots of ways to ask including prayer, meditation, visualization, and vision boards. An easy way to ask for what you want is to write a letter to the universe.

Ask the universe for what you want once a day makes your requests clearer and clearer.

Step 3: Work toward your goals.

Manifesting is the art of co-creating with the universe. Working toward your goals increases your chances of receiving what you want. It’s also fun.

Write down 3 actions you can do today to bring you closer to your goal. If you don’t know what to do, use Google to figure out what actions you can take. It’s likely someone has struggled with the same issue and has written about it. Let yourself be inspired by what others have done.

Start taking action and keep taking action until you’ve reached your goal.

Step 4: Trust the process.

As you work toward your goal, it may question if manifesting actually works. You might get discouraged and frustrated. If you are sitting in the struggle and wondering when things are going to happen you aren’t trusting the process. When you question manifestation, you’re telling the universe to prove manifesting doesn’t work.

The Law of Attraction obliges by sending you experiences that keep you stuck.

To manifest, you have to trust the process.

Whenever you find yourself doubting, catch yourself and say, “I’m getting closer and closer to my goals every day. The universe has my back and it’s awesome.”

Repeat this phrase until you believe it.

Step 5: Receive and acknowledge what you get.

The universe is always giving you help, but it’s easy to miss the signs (especially when they come in unexpected ways). When you start to acknowledge and receive signs from the universe, the universe will give you more of what you want.

A good way to get started with this step is to write down the evidence in a journal at the end of the day.

Make sure to include anything that happened to you during the day that moved you a little bit closer to your goal.

• If you are trying to get out of debt and your credit card company called to sort out a more appropriate payment plan, that’s evidence.

• It can also be an inspirational quote speaking to you on Facebook.

Step 6: Keep Your Vibration High.

According to the Law of Attraction, you attract what you are sending out. To attract more of what you want, you have to raise your vibration. Vibrations are like little radio signals you are continuously sending out to the universe. You must tune your signal to a vibration worthy of receiving it (read: stay positive and thankful).

All you have to do is to feel joy.

By spending 10-15 minutes a day (at least) doing something that makes you feel good, anything from watching a YouTube video or meditating, you’re ensuring your vibration stays high.

Remember, a crappy mood means you’re going to be rewarded with crap. Staying positive is the easiest way to be certain good things are coming.

Step 7: Clear your resistance.

If you haven’t yet manifested what you want, it’s likely you are resisting what the universe has to offer. Doubts, pain, procrastination, frustrations, anxiety, fears, regrets and resentments are all forms of resistance.

And they are totally normal.

When you notice conflict coming up, acknowledge it and remind yourself to breath and relax. It might sound something like, “I’m frustrated again. I’m resisting again. I get it. All I have to do now is breath, relax, and let it come. “

If you are having a hard time letting go of problem, find someone to help you through it.

Manifesting your desires is 100 percent possible but, to do so, you must use ALL the steps.

1. Get clear on what you want.
2. Ask the universe for it.
3. Take action (help the universe make it happen).
4. Trust the process.
5. Acknowledge what is being sent to you along the way.
6. Increase your vibration.
7. Clear all resistance.

Now I want to hear from you. What steps of the manifesting process do you do regularly? What steps have you missed? Tell me what, if anything, you’re going to change in the comments below.

How to get what you want by raising your standards

Tweet This

Some days, every conversation feels like a negotiation. Some people thrive on that type of exchange. For others, it’s exhausting. Regardless of whether you enjoy negotiating, you have to participate in the discussion if you want to get something done. I thought it might be helpful to share a few pointers that will help you in the next conversation, whether you’re buying a car, asking for a raise, or trying to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. When you’re negotiating, you should keep in mind three key ideas. First, know what you want; second, ask questions to understand the other person’s needs; and third, use conditional statements.

1. Know What You Want

This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people enter a negotiation with only a vague idea of what they’re seeking. You have to strategize beforehand. What price points are important to you? What secondary elements are you trying to achieve through the discussion? Put limits in place: an opening offer, an anticipated outcome, your walkaway position. Without putting these parameters in place, the conversation is likely to become far too freewheeling. And you’re unlikely to get the outcomes that meet your needs.

This strategizing is especially important if your personal tendency is to “shoot from the hip.” Being flexible and creative are important in business and thinking on your feet is a valuable talent when participating in a brainstorming meeting or responding to a tough question during a presentation. However, in a negotiation, there will be a defined outcome at the end of the discussion that you and your organization will need to live with, possibly for a long time. This isn’t the time to “wing it.” Your ability to respond to unexpected information or surprise approaches from the other negotiator is enhanced if you’ve clarified your strategy.

2. Ask Questions

When you’re negotiating, you’re trying to get what you need from someone else. The only way to get what you want from someone else is to give them what they need. The only way to understand what they need is to ask them, and then truly, deeply listen. If you assume what the other negotiator needs, and you miss the mark, the conversation will become frustrating and futile. Asking the right questions and digging deeper to understand the other negotiator’s needs are crucial tools to help you become a more effective negotiator.

This requires thinking of the other party in the discussion as simply the “other negotiator.” Most of the time, the other negotiator isn’t “the enemy,” they’re just another party that needs to get something constructive out of the exchange. Figuring out what the other person needs rather than assuming what they want may allow you to accomplish your goal at a lower cost.

3. Use Conditional Language

If I say, “I’ll come up 5%,” or, “I’ll add ‘X’ to the mix,” I’ve given up something without getting anything in return. Instead, say, “If I were to come up 5%, what would you be able to add to your offer?” or, “If we add ‘X’ to the mix, how could that impact your position?” Using conditional language allows you to float an offer, rather than commit to a position. Ultimately, you only give something if you get something in return.

Negotiations are often subtle dances around delicate issues. Egos and emotions are frequently in play. For many people, feeling like they are getting a good deal is as important as actually getting a good deal. If I say to you, “I’ll throw in ‘X’ for no additional cost,” how does that make you feel about the value of X? You may not feel like you’ve gained anything because it clearly didn’t have any value to me. If you “throw in” anything, you risk throwing away its value.

Try these three tips in your next negotiation and see how you fare.

Career and Success

How to get what you want by raising your standards

How to get what you want by raising your standards

Expectations is a word that changes as you change, and the secret to achieving your expectations, first and foremost, is to absorb this fact. You are not the person you were as a child or adolescent, obviously. But what’s less obvious is that you aren’t even the person you were yesterday. The process of living brings uncountable experiences, each of which makes an impression. You don’t have to use the term Karma to realize that these impressions have shaped you from day to day.

But what does this have to do with expectations?

Unless you are centered in a reliable sense of self, your old conditioning, family setting, strong impressions, and social background—all of which come from the past—are guiding your expectations, not you. To expect something is to foresee it in the future, and psychologists doing research on happiness have concluded that people are very bad at predicting what will actually make them happy. Expectations don’t often live up to what the present moment brings.

Adapt to the Present

Therefore, the best way to get what you really want out of life is to constantly adapt to the present, because there is wisdom in its uncertainty. When people expect to be made sublimely happy by getting married, having children, achieving a successful career, etc., they are substituting social norms for something deeper. Those external satisfactions can make you happy, of course, but psychological research once again indicates that they are highly unreliable—one of the most stressful experiences in life is caring for an infant child, for example, which comes as a surprise to many new mothers.

The most common ways that life expectations don’t turn out well include the following:

  • Setting your expectations too low
  • Stubbornly sticking to hopes and dreams beyond the likelihood that they will be fulfilled
  • Clinging to your family’s expectations of who you are or should be
  • Being defeated by bad experiences or setbacks that stifle your growth
  • Becoming entangled in unsatisfying work or relationships

Any of these things can become a psychological burden, and the outcome is often the same thing: constricted awareness. Whenever you hear a voice in your head that says things like, “Things always turn out badly,” “I’m not good enough,” I should just settle,” “Great things happen to other people, not me.” The voice in your head comes from the past. An old, outworn self has gained a second chance at life in mental activity that is divorced from the present moment.

How to get what you want by raising your standards

We’ve all heard a lot about living in the now, but it’s hard to realize that what makes the present moment so elusive is that it exists and doesn’t exist at the same time. Most people accept that the now must exist because their lives are a string of separate experiences happening to them. But in the world’s wisdom traditions, the now vanishes the instant it is noticed; awareness on the wing is an illusion when viewed from timeless awareness.

Therefore, only timeless awareness and the higher self that exists in timeless awareness is truly real. The fact that the ancient sages of India discovered and recognized this point, which is central to Vedanta, remains incredible. After all, countless people struggle to raise their life expectations, to achieve perfect happiness and experience unconditional love, yet very few realize that these things cannot be attained in the domain of ordinary clock time. This isn’t because life is somehow rigged to keep us unfulfilled but because the now, where all love, happiness, and fulfillment are actually experienced, must be grasped as timeless.

The spiritual teacher J. Krishnamurti asked a pointed question once: “Have you noticed that as soon as you say to yourself, ‘I am happy’ that the happiness starts to fade, ever so little?” What he was getting at is that the instant you put an experience into words—not just happiness but any experience—you are adding to the story that you keep building up around your life. This story tries to freeze the present moment, which is impossible. All that happens in reality is that another little bit of the past has been added to the heap.

How to Revise and Raise Your Expectations

With this knowledge in mind, there are practical ways to revise and raise your expectations, starting right now. To begin with:

  1. Establish yourself in the reality of now through meditation. Meditation brings the mind closer and closer to the experience of its source, which is timeless.
  2. Place a value on becoming detached. Your true self is a witness that doesn’t get stuck in drama or distracted by the stickiness of strong momentary experiences.
  3. Don’t fall for the voice in your head. No matter what it says to influence you, repeat these words: “That’s the past. I am not that person anymore.”
  4. Don’t buy into second-hand opinions. Form your own opinions, instead.
  5. Don’t accept other people’s stories about you. Whether the story is good or bad—usually it’s mixed—the overall effect is to put you in a box, which is more for their comfort than anything else.

In the end, the very best thing you can do is to escape the whole rigmarole of expectations, choosing instead to live your life without them. There is deep satisfaction in the now, which eternally renews itself instead of running after illusions that come from the past and deserve to remain there.

Learn a natural, effortless style of meditation that helps invite renewal and freshness into every day with Basics of Meditation, a self-paced online course guided by Deepak Chopra. Learn More.

How to get what you want by raising your standards

How to get what you want by raising your standards

A curious email rolled into my inbox recently. The subject line was “Write article.” And here was the entire message:

“Hi Jeff. I wanted to write an article, who do I speak with? Thanks.”

Maybe you have some questions. I do! What kind of article does this person want to write? What makes them qualified? Why would I want to publish it? When did my name become Jeff? And that’s just the start.

But let’s focus on the most telling word in this email — the one that explains what went wrong, and should serve as a warning sign for us all. The word is wanted, as in “I wanted to write an article.” The email writer led with what he wanted, not with what he could provide. And although his email was particularly clumsy, his mistake was very common.

We are all, at some points, blinded by our own interests. We want something badly, and so, like a starving man who sees everything around him as food, we begin to see the people around us as providers. We expect them to deliver a service, as if they’re hired for a job. We become needy. Demanding!

But here’s the harsh reality: Nobody cares what you or I or anyone else wants. Instead, they care about what we can do for them. Consider how successful transactions take place. An entrepreneur may want an investor’s money, but they don’t say, “I want your money”; they talk about how they can make the investor money. And nobody tells a customer, “I want your purchase”; they tell a customer about how their product or service can make the customer’s life better.

I wanted to write an article. That’s what the email said. As if my job is to grant wishes. He was so laser-focused on that desire that he failed to sell me on an idea. He offered no value, even though that’s what everyone is looking for.

Please understand, this isn’t about reaching out to me. It’s about reaching out to anybody. Do I expect us all to be selfless, always giving and never getting? I don’t. We all want things, and we should. But we should also be mindful of the best way to get them. Otherwise, we’re just wasting our and everyone else’s time.

I mean, just imagine if I’d written this column — the thing you’re reading right now — about what I really want. “Dear reader, I want you to buy this magazine and follow Entrepreneur on social media. Oh, and follow me, too! And listen to my podcasts!” Do I want those things? Of course. But if I said that, I’d give you no incentive to actually do them. So instead, I pay close attention to what my readers want. I correspond with them and talk to them at events; I take note of what they like and dislike. And then, when it comes time to produce this magazine, I reflect upon what I’ve learned and do my best to deliver value. I’m not saying I do it perfectly. But I know it’s the only path forward.

That’s the power of value, after all: When you know how to deliver it, you’re in a far better position to receive value for yourself, too. That point was hammered home recently by an entrepreneur friend of mine, whom I shared these thoughts with. He runs a medical company and spends a lot of time fund-raising and building partnerships. “It’s how I approach negotiations,” he says. “You have a much better chance of getting what you want if you focus on what the other person wants. Then you can negotiate from strength, because you already know what’s important to the other party.”

I know it can sound obvious. But in day-to-day interactions, we can slip up — talking too much about ourselves, pivoting too quickly toward the thing we desire. So here’s my challenge to you (and to myself!), at all times and in all interactions: Be relentless on value. You’ll get what you want by providing what someone else wants first.

All leaders need to fight against the leadership flaw of “It’s not what you preach – it’s what you tolerate.”

How to get what you want by raising your standards

If this leadership flaw is left unchecked the high bar of performance you explicitly call your team to achieve is undermined. No matter how much you believe in what your company can become, it will not happen if you don’t periodically assess yourself around “It’s not what you preach – it’s what you tolerate.” That’s because all of the hard and good work of setting performance and behavioral standards in your company are undermined by not holding your team accountable for substandard performance and behavior.

The greater the gap between what you preach and what you tolerate as a leader sends mixed messages and creates confusion in your company’s culture, leading to substandard performance of the business.

  • Calls everyone to clear a high bar of performance and behavior
  • Motivates people to do their best
  • Results in a healthy culture of high performers
  • Creates clarity of expectations
  • Sets one standard for all
  • Accepts a low bar of performance and behavior
  • Fosters complacency
  • Allows a group of low performers to drag down the overall performance of the company
  • Creates confusion around expectations
  • Allows double standards
  • Say what you mean, and mean what you say. If you expect a 20% increase in sales this year, don’t set the goal at 30% – set it at 20%, and hold those accountable to a 20% increase in sales.
  • If there are stated consequences for not meeting a certain performance measure, then enforce them. No exceptions.
  • Recognize those who meet or exceed the stated expectations. Praise & recognize performance you want repeated.
  • Likewise, confront those with substandard performance or behavior. They must be held accountable and called to the higher standards expected of everyone. Give them a chance to improve, but they must be held accountable to the higher standard expected of everyone.
  • Set a high standard. A chain is as strong as its weakest link – and so is your team.
  • Don’t settle for mediocrity and exceptions. Continually push yourself and your team to perform at everyone’s best. Great teams bring out the best in everyone.
  • Face the facts. Confront the harsh realities of how individuals on your team are performing and behaving.
  • Recognize the consequences of tolerating substandard performance and behavior – a company that doesn’t get you the results you want with a culture you don’t like.
  • Be consistent. Leaders who keep moving the goal post and changing the rules of the game confuse and demotivate their team.

If you are the owner of a company or the leader of a team, you have to take responsibility for your team’s performance and behavior. Clearly you need to exemplify the preached standards of performance and behavior you expect of everyone. But to the extent your team is not meeting the standards you’ve set, you’ve got to remember “It’s not what you preach – it’s what you tolerate” and look in the mirror and ask – what do I need to do differently?

  • Visit and schedule a call with Tom Barrett to discuss how implementing EOS® would allow you to get what you want from your business.

Tom Barrett is a Nashville-based Certified EOS Implementer™ and focuses on implementing EOS® with growth minded entrepreneurial businesses helping them to Clarify, Simplify & Achieve their Vision.