The standard you set is the standard you get

mindset mission networking Jan 06, 2021


I wrote an article under this same title 2 years ago, fresh from the high of our inaugural The Tourism Space LIVE, Ireland’s first national professional development and self-empowerment event for tourism professionals. It's a great quote for the New Year and it came from one of our speakers, Caroline McEnery of The HR Suite, on that memorable day in January 2019. 

Standards are a choice

While Caroline used the term in the context of managing team performance, it resonated with me really strongly on many layers – life, business, leadership. As individuals, we can set standards for ourselves or else we can neglect to do so.  It is a choice.

I know, for a large part of my life, I neglected to consciously set standards and defaulted instead to the standards and expectations of others. Oddly enough, I was kind of proud of my ability to just ‘go with the flow’. So, when I changed my mindset and started to actively lead my own life, getting clear on what standard I expected for myself and from myself was very challenging for me. I hadn’t focused on that before. I hadn’t asked that question of myself before or, at least, I hadn’t required myself to answer it.  

The Power of Visioning

However, with the help of a professional coach, I engaged in the process of Visioning and, without exaggeration, that process changed my life. I’m a huge advocate of Visioning now and employ the process all the time.  (In fact, my very first online course, The 5-Step Clarity Course, is all about a proven method to build your own Vision for Greatness. Such is my belief in the power of visioning that this course is included in our network membership and all our coaching programmes!)

Going with the Covid Flow

2020 meant we had to go with the Covid flow. So much was completely out of our control and many times the only option was to react rather than lead. As it turned out, any standard we had set had little chance of being met, no matter how clear our vision was! I’m not naïve enough to think that just having a vision can counteract something as seismic as a pandemic.

That said, I do believe we cannot completely default to Covid or other external events. Success is a relative term and I do believe that we have the ability to re-define what success means in light of changing circumstances. I do believe we can choose to lead and choose a vision even when large amounts of the external environment are beyond our control or influence.

Some New Year questions for you

All of these reflections bring me to share today’s challenging and hopefully thought-provoking New Year’s questions:



 As you’ll note, these questions are more about you than your business. As with me, they will only serve you if you take the time to write down your answers.

Here’s a suggested approach to help you set a high standard and achieve it:

  1. Concentrate your mind on yourself. All success starts in the mind. You must first create it in your mind if you are to create it in reality.
  2. Commit to a high standard for yourself, even if it seems outlandish right now. Don’t settle. Expect the best for yourself and expect the best from yourself.
  3. Describe that standard in rich sensory detail and in a way that you can measure - make sure you will know exactly when you have achieved it.
  4. Write it down. Keep it at hand so you can refer to it often during the year, particularly when you hit challenging moments.
  5. Connect with others who are of similar mindset. Meet and network with them.  Surround yourself with them. 

Baseline, target and benchmark

If your baseline is where you are now (A) and your target is where you want to get to (B), the people you choose to surround yourself with on the journey will become your benchmark. They say we become the average of the 5 people we spend most time with – choose carefully for 2021!


No need to journey alone

In 2021, we will be widening membership of our Better Tourism Business Network. This is a great forum to connect with others who are mindful and active about their leadership journey in tourism. We come together in a Member Huddle every Monday and focus on areas such as goal-setting, leadership, mindset and productivity. We also chat a lot and learn from each other’s experiences. We welcome guest experts once a month as well and, of course, everyone gets access to the 5 Step Clarity Course!  If you think this might be for you, find out about it here and also avail of a 30 Day Free Trial: Find out about the Better Tourism Business Network!

None of us needs to journey alone and the Better Tourism Business Network is a great space for connecting with others, keeping an eye on goals and maintaining motivation and accountability towards achieving them.  In fact, just yesterday, The Huddle was featured on our national radio's morning show, Morning Ireland, as an example of how tourism businesses can support each other in these challenging times - have a listen here: RTE Radio 1 Tourism 2020 Feature.  

Remember, the standard you set for yourself is the standard you get for yourself.  The vision you build for yourself is the reality you achieve for yourself.  It takes the same amount of effort to set a high standard as to set a low standard. 

Be ambitious for yourself, particularly now. 


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