Inspect what you expect, but do not expect what you do not model.
We could probably just end today’s blog right here…
Little things… a small scrap of paper or candy wrapper on the floor, but you walk right past it. However, you say to others, keep your area clean. Little things, ignore them and they become big things.
As leaders, we have many standards; spoken aloud, written on paper, advertised…
Ultimately, your standard is who you are. What others see is what we actually do. We say, “do this,” but we do not do it ourselves. How many times have you seen a leader tell everyone, “This is what the ‘rule’ is, and this is what we are going to do.” Only after a little while that same leader is not doing anything with regards to what they said, yet expects you to keep the “standard” that they put in place.
Our standards should be the mindset of wanting an identity – what we want others to believe about us, not think about us. Time is the accurate measure of what you say your standards are. Typically we all start out strong; committed to the cause, then time happens, and we become lackadaisical? Time measures the standard, creates the culture, which, in turn, determines the identity.
We all want high standards until it is time to meet them. Then… we want the standards to be lowered, for we do not want to be seen as not meeting them. Standards are always good for others, but when they become personal, the marker is moved.
Keeping the standard where it needs to be…
Why would you lower them? Well, it happens.
We lower standards when everyone is not held accountable for the exact same concept. When we let one “get away with something” and not another… others begin to notice. Two things usually happen here… 1) others start doing the same thing, 2) others call the leader on it, and the leader gets defensive. Nothing good comes from either point.
We lower standards when the expectations of others become the norm, and we decide this is where we need to be now and hereafter. Why should people care where the standard is and more than that, maintain the standard., if you are not?
But… what you accept will become the standard and the fact that others are willing to accept your standards determines it’s value and sometimes your value as well.
Be the standard-bearer of your standards. Time will have its say.
Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others
©2019 J Clay Norton
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Tom Williams said:
Great thoughts. You are correct about standards.