Thursday, April 10, 2014

You Get What You Allow

This week’s post will be short, and a bit of a rant, so bear with me.

My new favorite saying is "You get what you allow". Think of all the things you really don’t like; things that set your hair on fire and get you all riled up. How many of those things do you allow to happen? How many of those things do you let pass because you don’t think you can do anything about them, or you think are too much trouble to address? Quite a bit, I think.

Politicians who lie, cheat and steal? We hear about them almost every day, don’t we? And it makes most of us pretty angry. But, guess what? We allow it to happen; we allow it to continue. We keep voting them into office. As citizens, we rarely demand that our elected officials behave ethically and honestly. We allow this despicable behavior, so that’s what we get. We just sit here and think "well, there’s nothing I can do about it, I’m just one person", or "that’s just the way politics are". No, my friends, it’s not. Not if we don’t allow it. Speak out, speak up. Vote the jackasses out! Join together with others and make some noise! We can take control and demand something better.

Poor quality consumer goods, crappy customer service? Somehow, we’ve decided that we have to put up with cheap products or lack of any semblance of service, so we allow it. We can demand better. Write a letter to the president of the retail store, or the manufacturer, stop shopping at that place where you can never find a sales person, return the sweater that fell apart in the wash and tell them to make it right. We can take control and demand something better.

Exhausted because you’re always doing something for someone else, or always going along with the crowd? Can’t understand why no one returns the favor? Same answer. We get what we allow. Learn to say no once in a while. Learn to take care of yourself for a change. We can take control and demand something better.

Business leaders and managers are no different (you knew I would get around to this, right?). Do your supervisors refuse, either passively or outright, to do parts of their job? No problem, just take that task away and do it yourself, or give it to someone who will do it. Do you have staff that come in late, leave early, or only come to work when they feel like it? Do you throw up your hands and say "but what can we do?" Is providing quality service or products less important than doing only the parts of the job that they like, or does quality just take too much time and effort? Well, gee, I guess we just have to accept that. Managing out of fear is never effective. Notice I said managing out of fear, not managing by fear. Don’t fail to expect the best, don’t be afraid that everyone will quit if you actually expect them to do the job for which they were hired. If you do, you get what you allow. How does this affect your customers, client or product? Could your goods or services be any better if you expect and demand the best of your employees – all employees? If you find yourself lamenting the demise of the work ethic, just remember: You can take control and demand something better. But if you allow less than that, you probably deserve it.

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