My daughter and I love watching Charmed- the television show about the three witches. In one episode Phoebe is about to be put to death for killing someone who it turned out was not a good man and her sisters are frantically trying to free her. Phoebe accepted she had to die and said to her sisters, “The wrong thing done for the right reason is still the wrong thing.”
As I look at that line it reminds me how much as a leader you need to make sure that the leadership values you stand for are crystal clear to people and you can’t ever compromise them.
So what makes a company misstep?
When your leadership values and your goals don’t match it is a perfect storm for the “wrong thing to happen for the right reason.” Imagine that you work for a company and are consistently told that you need to cut all costs and at the same time one of the companies printed client promises is to exceed expectations. Now the customer calls, and through no fault of yours, they can’t find the package you delivered. Would you send another one? Just tell them the one was delivered?
At this point the goal and the leadership values are in absolute contradiction and the employee won’t know which to follow. Should I take care of the customer even if it means we have to absorb an extra cost at not fault to us? Or do I stick with the cost cutting and just tell them to find it as we did deliver it?
When leadership values and goals are in conflict, employees will always act in accordance with the one they will be rewarded for. That means you need to really watch to ensure all goals and leadership values are aligned.
TAKE ACTION: Go back and look at your goals and leadership values. Any that don’t align you will want to rework so that they support each other.