279: If You Drop Your Standard, You Signal Defeat.

Ask Any King.

Here’s an uncomfortable truth about (raw) capitalism. When there’s more than a sniff of risk in the air, we are more than willing to compromise our values to stay “successful.”

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If You Drop Your Standard, You Signal Defeat. Ask Any King.

During those ever so romantic times when knights on white horses fought brave battles, the king’s standard fluttered high on a long pole for all to see. When the standard was visible, it meant that the king was there in person. It also showed where he was so that his knights could protect him.

When the standard was no longer visible, it meant that the king was gone. Either he had fallen or he had left the field of battle.

Yes, it makes sense to have the standard visible for all to see. And yet, many organizations don’t make their standards visible for all to follow.

Don’t assume that people know what you expect of them, what service levels to provide, what quality to produce, and so on. Make your standards visible and understandable.

When do visible standards matter most? When the going gets tough. Because if you drop your standards, you signal defeat. Even if you did not mean to.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.