Being a leader is one the loneliest places to be. And being a solo business owner to boot, you’re on a desert island on the verge of pure insanity. I read an article once titled, “If you haven’t hurt someone’s feelings by noon, you are not leading.” I felt an immediate relief; finally someone else is on that desert island with me. As a leader, you can easily be labeled as being too hard, too intense. And if you’re a woman, you’re branded as being moody, emotional, difficult to work with and, my all-time favorite, “impossible to please; nothing is ever good enough.”

And this isn’t a millennial thing, although people tend to make that assertion. It’s an employee thing. But before you get defensive, employees, stick with me.

Anyone who knows me knows I will take my strongest, most unwavering stand for the employee. My mission in my work is to empower employees across the world to discover their capabilities, face their fears head on and shift their mindset to blossom into intrapreneurs who can achieve every goal and desire they have, often in spite of themselves.

Leaders are out front and upfront.

So, let’s get back to the idea that “nothing is ever good enough” for the boss. Employee, this is a cop out and a version of quitting on yourself if this is the place you go to when faced with accountability and coaching in your workplace. That most likely applies anywhere in your world. You’ve heard the saying, “Wherever you go, there you are.”

Let me put it into a fitness context, because in that world, for whatever reason, brutal truth is acceptable and expected, though it is considered unforgiving and insensitive in the workplace. I get it. I used to think the same way. This week I started a 10-week body transformation boot camp. On day four, at 5 a.m., the instructor barked this at us in the remaining two minutes of the 45-minute class: “If you are telling yourself what you are giving right now is good enough, leave and go back to your comfortable workout video in your basement that allows you to let yourself quit when you’re offended, frustrated and telling yourself this is too much. But you’re not getting your money back. You wrote me a check because you’re tired of not having what you want in your life. And I promised you to get you exactly what you are capable of having and what you want. If you’re telling yourself you’re doing your best, you’ve already quit. Change your mindset now to, ‘It is never good enough.’ Your goal has to be, always be better than before. Yes we take breaks and assess, but we are not giving it what we just gave it. That is the definition of staying stuck.”

So why is it wrong in the workplace when a leader/boss “pushes us to grow” with critiques such as “Next time you answer the phone, that typo, let’s talk about professional attire, this is good but now let’s do X.”

Employees, I invite you to take a 2-millimeter shift in your mindset and thinking. Look at your boss or leader as the fitness drill sergeant who is going to help you shed 10 pounds and drop 14% body fat in 10 weeks with a mindset that life is a never-ending coaching opportunity for growth. You want the raise, you want to take Fridays off in the summer, you want to move out of the position you’re currently in and move into your future self? Then mind shift. Embrace and hold your head high with empowerment and declare, “Not good enough.” From a position of growth, go to your boss with this blog post and say, “I want to help us grow. I want to grow. I am coachable; will you mentor me?”

Because we all know that sugar coating never works. The 5 a.m. unapologetic accountability works. No question. There are 40 people starting the 10-week challenge; statistics show fewer than half will be left standing after 10 weeks. It is never worth it to soften the message when the prize is results and attaining what we really want. Let’s be upfront and honest with respect and grace. Yes, sometimes there is a harsh tone when we are at the two-minute warning mark, but guess what? When we get to the goal, it’s always victorious. But without a mindset shift, we’ll never make it.

If you want help with how to make the mindset shift into an adult place of unapologetic accountability that teaches you how to give and/or receive, click here now and schedule a complimentary call.

Molly Hall