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Are double standards… your standard?
May 19, 2009 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments
Double standards communicate that there are “entitlement” rules and acceptable behaviors for some while others must adhere to more rigid rules. Fact: Double standards compromise the values of a company. Double standards create performance drag and contaminate the culture of a company. Most importantly, even the slightest existence of double standards perpetuates entitlement thinking and behavior. And who is the originating source of double standards? You guessed it, the leader – and that means you.
Double standards for leaders: This is the classic “do as I say, not as I do” thinking. It’s when leaders use their positions of power to compromise what they hold others accountable for doing. For example, consider how the integrity and trust of a company can be compromised when the leader orders expense reductions and pulls up in a new company car or takes a vacation cleverly disguised as a business trip. Even seemingly little behaviors like always being late for meetings while others are held accountable can contaminate a company culture.
Double standards of employees: Is the “favorite” employee syndrome alive and thriving in your company? This is when select employees are held less accountable to the rules, policies and expectations of the company than others. It can be overlooking chronic lateness, absenteeism, inappropriate behaviors and sub-standard performance. And this doesn’t necessarily mean that the employee is a “favorite.” It can be a long-term employee or high producer that you know could be confrontational if you level the playing field and hold them as accountable to the rules as you do all others.
Here are some no-compromise strategies to rid your company of double standards:
- You go “one standard” first: You know the basic rules of leadership… you need to change first before you can expect others to follow. Leaders must practice no-compromise behaviors first. Your respect, trust and integrity are on the line. Climb down out of the entitlement clouds. No compromise.
- It’s time for a culture shift: Going “no compromise” is non-negotiable. Chart your company’s course to an “all for one – one for all” standard. Read my No-Compromise Leadership book. It contains the game plan you need to follow to make the shift in yourself and your entire business culture as well.
- Have the crucial conversations: You know exactly who on your team is benefiting from the double standards you allowed. You must do one-on-ones to clearly define the double standards that are going away and your expectations moving forward. Most of all, you must communicate how you will hold everyone accountable. This is not confrontational – it’s leadership fixing what leadership allowed to occur.
Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends.
Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder & CEO
Categories: Monday Morning Wake-Up