When I was young, a mentor of mine took me out for a trip to Burger King. Nothing special there. Your usual run-of-the-mill, “flame broiled”, “have it your way” sort of place. However, we had a very unusual conversation. The conversation was about measuring up. It was about comparisons and expectations. Comparisons people make of me. Comparisons where other people would measure me and decide to deny or accept me based on how they thought I measured up to their sticks.
I am beginning to realize I do this now. I measure other people. I say they should measure to metric 1, 2, and 3. Not because I have the golden ruler; simply, because I have developed what I think successful people do in my mind and I want everyone to succeed and therefore they need my metrics.
I try to maintain a broad understanding of what it takes to be successful. However, that does not change the reality of me measuring people on a very imperfect ruler. My spacing is uneven, the stick curves, and it often fluctuates between Imperial Units and International Units.
Who am I to be developing any sort of measuring stick for success?
I can clearly communicate expectations and direction for someone. I can develop a clear idea of who I want to be and what I want to do to succeed. However, it is not my job to develop a measuring stick to use to for others to in-errantly obey. It is my job to communicate to others a clear expectation for given situations (i.e. do not touch the stove, it is hot and will burn you most of the time.) It is my job to otherwise help others succeed in the areas they want to succeed in.
Where are you developing measuring sticks? Where should you encouraging, not measuring?