Set The Bar High And Bring Our People With Us
"We don't lower our standards. We raise the bar and bring our people with us."
We have a couple of choices when it comes to dealing with performance problems within our team, in those times when we lack capability alignment, a consensus of will, or moral cohesion.
We can make accommodations here and there, allow for differences in individual standards (“because we need them for the other things they do well”) and adjust expectations to make up for the “nature of the team we’re dealing with”.
This approach allows us to get on with things and keep pushing the ball forward, moving towards our goals. For a while at least.
The reality is that, without a strict set of standards, without a strong, non-negotiable moral compass, we slowly erode away at what it means to be “us”. (Assuming, of course, that we’d defined this in the first place.)
That little sacrifice of standard here allows us to more easily give in to the lapse there. The loose standard in this particular situation isn’t so bad after all, so that when it comes up again later, in a different context, well, then we’ve already set the precedent, so it’s really no problem to let it go again, is it?
Pretty soon, our team, our community, sees us for what we are: apparently, whatever we need to be in any particular situation, regardless of who we are meant to be, who we said we really were.
Isn’t the better approach to keep our standards high? To make the tough decisions? To push for excellence across the board - from performance to values to our moral code?
Regardless of whether the decision at hand is big or small - and often, especially in the small decisions - we set the standards high, we act the part and we bring everyone else along.
Sure, some folks will drop off. Others won’t buy into our vision. Still others will argue that perhaps, in this or that instance, we’re being too pedantic. No matter.
Hold fast. Hold strong. Hold the bar high. Figure out who our people are, and bring them with us.