1. do or establish something at a level others need to try and achieve
set the bar/standard in the industry
To 'set the bar' or 'set the standard' means to dictate or provide an example of the standard at which others are expected to reach. You will often hear this phrase used in relation to sports or academic achievements. If someone 'sets the bar high' it means the standard expected is above the reach of most people or is not easy to achieve.