Tony Robbins says that you never get what you want, you only get what you tolerate. The word “tolerate” has a particular connotation that has caused me to miss the point for a few years. When I phrased it this way, “we get our standards” something clicked.
Here’s what I mean. If you ever drive into Seattle, you will notice something. Everything has graffiti on it. Like, everything. Overpasses, underpasses, buildings, light poles, curbs, and even the bike sharing bikes. Over the years the volume of “street art” has exponentially grown. Why? Because our unspoken standard has communicated that it’s OK to spray paint things.
We verbally say it’s not OK, but we communicate through our actions (or in this case, our inaction) that it’s OK.
Standards always derive from action and inaction.
This concept applies to leaders. We get our standards. Whatever message we communicate to our team through our repeated actions and inactions creates a standard. We are getting whatever that standard is.
The kicker is that every day the standard exists, it feels more like home. It becomes culture.
Want to increase performance? Start by examining what standards you are communicating through your actions and your inactions. Whatever you are communicating is what you are getting.