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Your standards or mine?

Tom Wall Published on 07 December 2012

When it comes to delegating your work, what’s the main reason you hesitate handing it over to somebody else?

If you’re like most people, you’ll probably agree that it’s usually just easier doing the work yourself than having someone else do it for you. And if you’ve been doing the work for a long time, that makes perfect sense. With a lot of first-hand experience, you’re probably pretty good at what you do and most people don’t measure up. But that’s the simple answer.

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What about when someone has a lot of experience and they still don’t perform at a highly skilled level? Unfortunately, that’s more common than you might think. Regardless of the work or the company, there are a lot of “experienced” hacks working alongside true professionals every day. Not convinced?

How many times have you been completely disappointed with one person’s work and sincerely impressed with the work of someone else? When you compare them side by side, it’s amazing just how valuable some people’s contributions truly are.

So why do you think there’s such a difference in performance from one person to the next? Do you think it’s because people set different standards for themselves and their work?

If that’s the case, how would you classify your standards?

Sure, some people’s standards can be a little extreme. On one end of the spectrum, there are people who have extremely high expectations and are convinced that with a commitment to excellence and attention to detail, their high standards can be met.

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On the other extreme, there are people whose standards are so low that they’re willing to accept anything. And why is that? It could be because they’re too busy, tired, lazy, uninformed or indifferent to expect something better.

So where do you and your employees fit on this “scale of standards”? Is everyone clustered somewhere in the middle? Or are you and your employees scattered from one extreme to the other?

Growing up, I learned my work ethic from my parents and neighbors. At the time, I didn’t exactly like the lessons they taught me. But when I look back at those experiences now, it turns out I was pretty fortunate to pick stones and do yard work for people with really high standards.

At 10 years old, I wasn’t very concerned with working efficiently or doing quality work. But, of course, my parents and neighbors were. And fortunately, they taught me that I had to work to their standards, not mine.

And that’s the same dynamic that happens every day at your dairy. You see, not only are you training your employees to do their work on a technical level, you’re also teaching them how to work according to your standards and expectations. Every day, you, your managers and your employees demonstrate your company’s standards and expectations through your performance and results.

So when it comes to your dairy’s standards, how much do you expect from yourself and your team? Ultimately, you’ve got two choices; you can teach your team how to work to your standards or allow everyone to work to theirs. PD

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Tom Wall
President
Dairy Interactive, LLC

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