Believe and Check
On one hand, when you believe that men who volunteer to serve their
country are basically good, willing, and have initiative, and you treat
them accordingly, you see behavior that confirms that belief. On the
other hand, a belief that men are twisted, dishonest, and lazy will come
to pass as self-fulfi lled prophesies. When you believe that people are
honest, you’ll oft en fi nd they are honest. Believe that men are honest,
expect honest behavior, and check the standards so that the honest
men know they’re doing well. If there are standards to attain, check
them yourself to make sure the standards are met. Honest men like to
meet and exceed standards, and a good business practice is to hire good
people and then watch them like a hawk, because men don’t always do
what is asked but do what is measured.
Constructing a building requires measurable standards. At any stage
of its construction, it’s possible to tell if the building is meeting those
standards. Yes, believe the best, and expect high standards—then get
down in the mud and check for yourself at every stage of construction.
If the foundation is seven inches out of square and eight inches out of
level, everyone involved needs to know so he or she can make changes.
When no one is applying standards, important benchmarks are missed.
Believe the best, and apply standards. Honorable men love to exceed
standards when given the chance. I did observe that disrespect for standards can create a bunch of liars.
It’s far better to believe the best, expect the best, and check standards
to prove how good men are doing than to be a nice guy and just look at
reports. I have found that when dealing with honest men, as soon as a
problem is detected, they will start making plans to fix it. Dishonest men
resent your standards checking and make plans to cover up mistakes, so
as soon as mistakes are exposed; they start pointing fingers away from
the source of the problem.
Accuse someone of being honest, and then let that person do
everything necessary to prove you right. Remember when your mom
accused you of being lazy like your father? You did everything in
your power to prove her right. You know you did it; now call her and
apologize. Believe the best, and check the standards, because the diligent
find freedom in their work; the lazy are oppressed by work.
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