I am usually on the road at 6am, driving to a Starbucks to plan out my day. At 6am a funny thing begins to happen. Cars begin to vacate the left hand lane as it turns into a Carpool/HOV lane. I often wonder why, after 6am, a good number of drivers will zoom in and out of traffic, driving at excessive speeds… sometimes dangerously… but, remain out of the Carpool lane, even though at 6am there is hardly a car in it.
Funny isn’t it? The values we choose to keep and the ones we choose to abandon. I suppose speeding gives us a feeling of some control as we rush through traffic, trying to get where we’re going. Speeding is about power, control and being daring. Tempting fate as we look through our rear view mirrors, hoping not to see those dreaded blue and red flashing lights.
On the other hand, driving in the Carpool lane, well… that’s cheating. We don’t want to cheat do we? There seems to be a sense of fairness that most people adhere to. We might sigh as we watch a speedster go by, but we’ll get into a rage when someone uses the Carpool lane illegally. Somehow, we feel violated when certain rules are broken, and yet accept other indiscretions almost nonchalantly.
When you talk to your staff about ethics and rules, you can’t tell them, do the right thing or to play by ALL the rules. Well, you can, but don’t expect that to help your team understand what is right and wrong. Take a closer look at what is going on in your office. Some rules are being broken, and others adhered to almost religiously. You must ask yourself if there are any rules that are looked at like speeding, and others that are viewed as cheating. If it becomes acceptable to take short cuts in certain areas, and you know it’s going to lead to trouble, you must somehow change the perception that breaking these rules is acceptable.
A manager writes rules. A leader understands human nature and works to ensure that the rules are properly understood and helps the team understand where the boundaries are.
All the best!
All the time!