This is a key learning in leadership. Many leaders come in and to make themselves look good, they need to talk about the past in a disingenuous way. This is demoralising for staff who have been part of the journey.
Many years ago I managed a turnaround for an under performing sales team, I made the mistake of trashing the past, three years later I was reminded of how demoralising it was by my peer. I had no idea the impact I had.
With this approach you treating everyone the same, when it may be due to poor leadership, poor culture and any number of factors that the individuals have been subjected to.
Recently tasked with turning around a team, I recalled those important lessons, ensuring the team where recognised and that the transition was no reflection on the team. A critical lesson for taking people on the journey.
With a different perspective I could see the commitment and effort of each member of the team and appreciate their individual contribution. I felt for each and everyone of them, as the situation was not of their making.
Throughout my career the lens of setting precedence has been a key to success. I always ask, if I say yes to this what is the consequences? If I say no, what message am I sending?
Every day I apply this rule to whatever I am doing. Generally employees are looking for a yes answer to please their customer. Respect comes from setting boundaries and clearly stating the No position, where the commercial ramifications don’t make sense.
In any business there are bottlenecks, when the process is clear then the process is manageable, when the customer enters the process signing a document that outlines any delays may mean going to the back of queue, which equates to a painful delay, they take the signing of the document seriously. The same message verbally may not have impact. In fact has no impact as they are not committed.
When we make allowances, even when financially it does not make sense, we remove the barrier and the new the standard is set, proving the barrier can move. Now you are in trouble as you have no way of resetting as you have moved it once.
When the requests are financially impactful to your business, you are now in territory known as “what has no price has no value” where you are taken for Granted And the situation is financially unsustainable. The only answer as you now have a precedent that is challenging is to rip the band aid off and have the honest conversation, resetting the boundaries that should have been there from the outset.
The rule of precedent is simple, stick to the position where commercially it makes sense, as when you move, there are no boundaries left and you are now in a disrespectful, subservient relationship, which will result in further requests, as you have shown the boundaries move.
Where have you seen precedents set that are unsustainable? What was the impact? What was the outcome? What was the learning? What would you do differently? what was the impact on the cx?