Clear Your Desks

Clear Your Desks

“Don’t assume, ask. Be kind. Tell the truth. Don’t say anything you can’t stand behind fully. Have integrity. Tell people how you feel.”~ Warsan Shire

clear your desks

 “It had to be on Friday,” thought Sam as he closed his email. A contingent from corporate wanted to stop by Sam’s satellite office—on casual Friday. Sam made the rounds informing everyone jeans and T-shirts were to be replaced with business professional attire this particular Friday. Disgruntled moans could be heard in Sam’s wake, and he purposefully waited to tell Christy until last. She was the office’s cheery glass-half-full person, and Sam liked to end these bad news tours on a positive note. As predicted, Christy took the news in stride saying she had a new outfit she’d wanted to try on and Friday would go swimmingly.

Then Sam saw it sitting on Christy’s desk. It was an 80s troll doll holding a gold painted spork. The atrocious thing  was part of an interoffice gag, but the sight of it made Sam panic. He’d never met anyone in the visiting corporate group. What would they think of the troll? What would they think of the knickknacks on anyone’s desk? No, Sam would not be remembered as the spork troll manager. He ordered everyone to clear their desks of personal items, and said that the only things visible should be work products.

Friday rolled in, and Sam’s office was as sterile as an operating room. The corporate visitors got the nickel tour while Sam answered all their questions about operational facts and figures. As Sam walked the delegation out to the parking lot, one of the visitors hung back and introduced himself as the new regional VP of operations. He asked why Sam’s office did not participate in casual Friday or allow his team to have personal items on their desks. After Sam’s admission that he’d put the shine on for the visit, Sam received the worst dressing down of his adult life by the VP.

What message does it send our team members and superiors when we put on a dog and pony show “for company”? Our team members easily recognize duplicity in our leadership, and those up the ladder are presented a false picture of working conditions. Where’s the integrity in that?

Consider this …

1. Be honest with yourself. Are there any areas, at home, with friends, or at work, where your words don’t match your actions?

2. Where might you have “duplicity” in your leadership practices?

3. Where is the biggest culprit and what might you do now to make it right?

 

For more, check out The Top Performer’s Field Guide, The Innovator’s Field Guide, or visit www.JeffStandridge.com.

(Originally published in The Top Performer’s Field Guide.)

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