Now before you target me for burning in effigy, let me clarify. I’m NOT talking about racial, religious or gender discrimination. I’m talking about exercising discrimination in the way we provide rewards, perks and privilege for our employees and team members.
If a video doesn’t appear above, click here to view my two minute video on accountability.There is an epidemic of “performance tolerance” among businesses today. It seems that society’s demand for “equality” has been misinterpreted as an effort to strive for “mediocrity.” We cannot build a great business with marginal people and marginal performance. Today many businesses go out of their way top spread the reward across their entire organization rather than simply rewarding those who have gone beyond what is expected. This result not only reinforces mediocre performance but actually “de-incentives” those who are striving for the best.
In order to counter this type of behavior we must develop a culture of accountability. This sounds nice and most every leader would say they DO practice accountability with their team. Yet I would submit that very FEW leaders really practice accountability. True accountability means being willing to confront marginal performance and dysfunctional behaviors. Let’s be honest, most of us are looking for ways to build agreement and harmony rather than an opportunity to practice confrontation and conflict. Make no mistake: practicing “performance discrimination” in this society is not easy. It means taking risks. It means instigating uncomfortable conversations. It means expecting–and accepting–the occasional emotional outburst. That’s okay. Growth is usually painful. As Morrie Shechtman say in his book, Fifth Wave Leadership, “if you have a company full of conflict avoiders, you’re in trouble. You have to be willing to tell people how you experience them, and you have to be able to hear from them how they experience you. It’s the only route to growth relationships. The foundation of an accountable culture is honest, real-time feedback.
Start taking risks right now, give people honest, critical feedback about how they impact the relationships they’re in. Tell them what the new accountability means and why it’s so critical to their future. The blunt truth is that if you don’t create a discriminating culture of accountability, your company may not be around in ten, five, or even two years. None of us can be transaction artists anymore. You have to find the courage to make the change. And you have to make it right now. Then you will not have to bend to mediocrity.
Also check out the book by Dave Anderson, If You Don’t Make Waves, You’ll Drown.
I hope that this “Business Update” has been helpful in assisting you to improve the performance of your organization. For more information on how the Small Business Advisory Network assists companies in improving their performance, please feel free to contact us at 310-320-8190 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great week!