Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What You Tolerate Becomes the Norm

It matters what the leader says, does or doesn’t do. Whatever you do, you’re communicating something. And whatever it is, it influences people’s behaviors because they respond/react to their leader’s behaviors. It is therefore important for the leader to be clear about the culture he/she wants to cultivate in the organization and as clear about the behaviors that cannot be tolerated.

A CEO friend hired her best friend as a director in her company. The friend’s performance was mediocre at best. It came to a point that the customers don’t want to work with her anymore. The CEO looked for another position in the company that the friend managed to bungle as well. To make the long story short, the CEO kept on moving the friend from one position to another until she ended up doing menial things but still with a Director’s salary. The problem now is every time the CEO wants to call the attention of other employees for their performance, she feels guilty because she knows they will point back to the friend and ask why she’s still working in the company.

Her example is just one of the many things that highlight how a leader’s tolerance of negative behaviors can affect the team. You really can’t have a high performing team if you tolerate low performance behaviors.
This is why it is important for leaders to be clear about the values that they bring to the workplace or the company values that they embrace. Communicating these values by pointing them out when decisions and actions are being taken and showing real examples of how they are being applied in the workplace is crucial to team alignment. It is important as well to show less patience for low performance behaviors. Some managers make this excuse that they are trying to demonstrate patience or compassion when they withhold their feedback or wait for the employees to voluntarily change. I 
don’t think it’s going to work.

So, think about it. What are the low performance behaviors that you or your staff demonstrate at work? What should you decide to do to see to it that they understand their tasks and give their best to accomplish it? How do you model the way and how do you deal with those who refuse to align themselves?

Those who don’t respond to your leadership, should be managed. Those who don’t respond to your management, should be led. Those who don’t respond to either should be managed out.