Most Organizations (and people) have standards.
When folks talk about “Raising the Bar,” they’re acknowledging that they have just increased their standards.
“We used to do things this way, and then we found and adopted a better way which has become a part of our new and improved STANDARD.”
These standards are descriptive of how we pledge to perform and behave in our personal and professional lives.
We pledge these within (and don’t always broadcast them to the world).
We become famous for our high standards because of our actions and commitment to doing the right thing.
The world is secretly conspiring to trick us into compromising these standards.
The most dangerous part of this is that we CAN compromise our standards with just a slight smidgen of deviation without anyone (but ourselves) knowing.
Doing this is skating on Dangerously thin ice because WE know . . . and aren’t comfortable with living this lie of setting a setting and secretly compromising it.
We’ve damaged our own credibility . . . Our integrity suffers . . . and we’re suddenly WAY more susceptible to fudging more later.
Don’t lie to yourself.
When tempted to compromise a standard knowing that noone else will know the difference, ask yourself if it’s worth it?
How about a few examples”
Walking down a sidewalk and notice a crumpled beer can and some napkins in the gutter . . . knowing the right thing to do would be to stop and pick up the trash and take it to the trash can . . . yet it would be easier to look away as if you didn’t notice and keep walking just as others before (and like after) have done.
If no one else notices, did you do wrong?
If a tree falls in the woods . . . Does anyone hear?
Your standard is to charge $xxx for doing this job, and a new customer wants to negotiate your fee. Do you succumb, or do you resolutely stand strong because you know that giving that customer a better deal wouldn’t be fair to your other customers who glad pay full fare . . . AND wouldn’t be fair to YOU because it’s your standard fee.
Your standard is to return EVERY call before quittin’ time, but you run out time and energy.
What do you do?
This is as much about preserving your own self-worth as it is about maintaining your public integrity.
All of this can’t happen unless you know your standards.
If you don’t know your standards, how will you know when you compromise them?
Do you have some “HomeWork” to do?
This is important work worth doing on a personal and professional level . . . and throughout EVERY organization.
Simply start with this question:
“What do I (we) stand for?”