I believe this principle of Exclusion is the difference between Excellent cultures and toxic cultures. In every coaching engagement I have been involved in you can bet we are going to have a conversation about the high performer, you know..….the one who DELIVERS! The conversation is predictable, “I have never seen anybody as good as this lady, our customers love her, she just landed our latest top account!” AND what’s the problem? “She is impossible to work with, people quit, no one wants to work with her.” AND I’m sure you have discussed the VALUES you have on the wall, which I just passed by as I walked in your office? And you have told her in very Clear, Concise and Direct terms that her behavior will not be tolerated, we can’t build a great culture, a place where people want to work when you violate every value we hold sacred? “Well, we have had many conversations with her, they just don’t seem to work!”
I honestly have not had one coaching engagement where this problem of a high performer has not occurred and the answers from the leader are predictable, they just really don’t want to deal with it in CCD terms with consequences defined. I can’t say it any better than Chet has stated it here:
“Culture is built, not by talk but by what you tolerate. A culture of inclusion is meaningless unless it is combined with the discipline of excluding those unwilling to live it. Inclusion, like so much of life, is easy to say and hard as hell to live.”
I love this Blog, it’s a great reminder of why I do this work! You see, I was one of those leaders in a business who hired one of those top performers! The guy grew our business! I loved it, I embraced it and I did not want to do anything to stop it! I spent a long time looking for this top performer and I simply did not want to admit just how bad he was single handedly destroying our culture. I can remember having one or two conversations with Chet about this guy and you know the drill with Chet, if you have been an avid reader of the Blog, “Pete, you’re the Leader and YOU are the problem, now go home and write about that one!” I was tolerating a man who consistently violated everything I said I believed in, it was time for a change!
“Culture is built, not by talk but by what you tolerate. “
- What are you tolerating personally and professionally?
- What integrity Gaps do you need to address as a leader?
- What core principles have you clearly defined for yourself? What are you modeling? What are you broadcasting?
- What are you tolerating as a leader? You know what they are? Don’t wait! Take Productive Action Now? When you do, it’s one positive step towards building an excellent culture!