“You will achieve to your lowest standard”- Mike Krzyzewski. Several years ago I had the privilege of hearing Coach K speak at Duke University where he made this statement. He said that at Duke they don’t have rules, they have standards that they expect players and staff to live up to. I thought that was one of the best statements about success I had ever heard.
People don’t like rules. You’ve probably heard the statement rules are meant to be broken. People don’t like to be told what to do. But standards are different. Webster defines a standard as “a level of quality, achievement, etc., that is considered acceptable or desirable. Ideas about morally correct and acceptable behavior.” By developing standards instead of rules it allows everyone to be involved in the process.
Developing standards as a family or in an organization should be done with the involvement of everyone in the family or organization. By doing this no one feels left out and we hold each other accountable because we have developed these standards as a group and not by one person deciding what is acceptable or not acceptable. When everyone feels that the standards of the organization determine it’s success and that they had a part in developing those standards, they are more inclined to help uphold those standards.
There is no set list of standards. Each family or organization must develop these on their own. As an individual you can develop your own standards that you live by and ask a friend or family member to help you stay accountable.
Some examples of standards that you can consider:
Punctuality. Being on time for work, for meetings, for church etc.
Respect. Always showing respect to other family members, co-workers and team members.
Always do your best. This is something we tell my son all that time. You may not always win or get everything right but as long as you are doing your best, that’s what matters. We all know when we have done our best and when we haven’t. When you’ve done your best you feel better about yourself and that leads to you doing better each and every time.
Honesty. Always be honest with yourself and with others.
Keep your word. This is a standard that I have always set for myself. When you tell someone you will do something, do it. You may miss it sometimes but always strive to keep your word. People will learn they can count on you and believe me it means so much in business when clients know you will do what you say you will do.
These are just a few examples of standards that I’ve tried to live by. There are many more and as I said before it is up to you and your family or organization to develop your own standards. The main thing is to do it. Sit down and ask your family members or the members in your organization what they think are standards that you need to have to be successful as a family or organization. Once you’ve done that, then hold each other accountable to those standards.
Remember what Coach K said, “You will achieve to your lowest standard”. Set your standards high. If you want other people to value you then value yourself by setting high standards for yourself and your team so that you can achieve great success.
If you have some examples of standards that you have for yourself or your team that I haven’t mentioned here please leave me a comment below. I would love to hear them and how you are applying them in your own life or business.