The law of minimum standards

As a manager or CEO, you can’t hold anyone accountable without a measuring stick. You must set standards. You can do this by clearly stating expectations or you can reset the bar by the acts you tolerate. This is the law of minimum standards. What is the very least someone can do without commanding any repercussion?

If, for example, you call at meeting at 8:30 a.m. and everyone is in their seats by this time, except one habitual latecomer, you non-verbally lower your minimum standard. You hold up an important sales meeting, wasting the time of every person who arrived on time, to accommodate the person who did not have enough respect for you or this group to do the same. So, by delaying the start of the meeting and not condemning the late arrival, you: (1) penalized the people who were prompt, and (2) sent a message to the others that lateness is an acceptable standard.

In another scenario, you establish a minimum sales goal of two homes per month. Yet, you have a salesperson who hasn’t made even one new home sale in four months. By allowing this pattern to continue, you lowered your minimum standard to zero home sales per month” which I am certain was not your intention.

Without attaching and enforcing consequence to deplorable behavior, you lower your minimum standards. Before long, you will be tripping over them.

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