What the standard you walk past? As a leader what will and will you not tolerate? These questions have a profound impact on your business.
Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison famously said the standard you walk past is the standard you accept. To which I would add, you get what you tolerate.
What’s the culture in your organization?
Is it a culture where everybody steps up, puts their personal agenda aside and thinks in terms of what is the right thing to do for the business?
Do people call out bad behavior whenever they see it?
Does your culture encourage and reward everybody for doing the right thing, which means standing up for the values of the organization.
A trap in leadership is allowing people who may be star performers in certain areas to get away with what would be unacceptably bad behavior. Simply because they are good performers in a particular area.
Because if you do, what is that saying to the rest of the organization? Hey, this person is a star performer, they bring in a lot of business, and therefore they’re allowed to get away with whatever they’re getting away with.
All that does ultimately is breed resentment.
And you risk losing other very competent and good people, because they look at what’s going on and say, is this a place I really want to work in?
As leaders, sometimes we have to bite the bullet. Even if someone is supposedly essential to the business we need to move them on for the good of the whole organization, because not doing so will inevitably gradually, and then suddenly cause major issues, which could see the demise of your business.
Making the difficult decision to move the person on is ultimately in the best interests of your business and everyone concerned.
Now, I recognize also that sometimes we can’t necessarily be objective because we’re too close to the situation. Maybe the person is a family member or a close friend.
Having said that leadership often involves tough decisions for the greater good.
Once again, think of what’s in the best interests of your organization and take action sooner rather than later.