Every once in awhile, a thought pops in your head that bounces around inside your brain and ends up affecting everything you think, say, or do.
I had one of those thoughts this week.
I was facilitating a workshop with a group of really smart leaders when someone mentioned “The Golden Rule”. As you know, The Golden Rule encourages you to “Treat others the way you’d want them to treat you.“
As a human being, I’ve always tried to live by that rule, just like you have. And it’s a good rule to live by.
But as a leader, my job isn’t to put good karma out into the world and hope it returns to me. My job is to positively influence my staff, my business, our guests, our clients my family, and my community.
Enter my brain-rattling thought:
What if we rewrote the Golden Rule to make us completely accountable for the influence we have on others? And what if we wrote it…and spoke it…and lived it…out loud and often to those we lead instead of a hopeful mantra we quietly whisper to ourselves?
What if our new golden rule sounded like this:
“Treat other people the way I treat you.”
Imagine if you said that out loud to the people you lead or even those you work side-by-side with. Makes you think hard about how you treat the people around you, doesn’t it?
You can even modify it to fit multiple situations:
“Treat our customers the way I treat you.”
“Treat your teammates the way I treat you.”
“Treat our vendors the way I treat you.”
“Treat your friends the way I treat you.”
“Treat your sister the way I treat you.”
“Treat the dog the way I treat you”
Ok, the last one is probably unnecessary because we all treat our dogs better than most of the people in our lives. But for the rest of the statements, you have to ask yourself “Would I really want my staff/friends/family to treat other people the way I treat them?“
I’m pretty sure most of you answered “Absolutely, I treat people GREAT!” But research tells a different story. 40-50% of people in America are not happy in their current jobs AND the majority of people who leave a job don’t leave because of the job itself or the company as a whole. They leave because they don’t like their BOSS.
So, ask yourself again…brutally honestly this time…”Would I really want my people to treat others the way I treat them?“
It’s a good question to ask whether you consider yourself a leader or not. Let it rattle around in your brain today. I’d love to know how you feel about this challenge! Leave a comment and share your ideas & insights with your fellow readers & leaders.
One last thing: If you’re a leader and someone forwarded you this article or left it anonymously on your desk, read it with the spirit in which it was likely given: your people want you to be the best leader they’ve ever worked for. It all starts with how you treat them.