“Many problems are minor when you solve them right away but grow into an enormous conflict when you let them linger. As a rule of thumb, fix it now.”
Remember that ignored behavior is condoned behavior so if you are going to ignore inappropriate behavior then you are condoning it through your inaction. That is why Colin Powell said, “Every time you walk by a problem and do nothing about it, you just set a new standard.” Therefore, it is important to have the courage as a leader to “Fix it now.”
“Fix it now” does not mean getting out a sledgehammer and crushing or publicly shaming whoever made a mistake or demonstrated poor decision making or “Below the Line” behavior.
“Fix it now” does not mean implementing a new blanket policy to punish everyone because of the behavior of one person.
“Fix it now” does not mean firing someone the first time he or she makes a mistake.
“Fix it now” means sitting down one on one with the person and having a question centric conversation to determine what happened, what decisions they made that led to the less desirable outcome and what was the thought process that led to those decisions. That conversation may lead to the discover that the problem is a systems problem and not a problem with the individual or the decisions they made. If it is a human issue and not a systems issue the question centric conversation will likely guide the involved person to that discovery and reveal the next steps. Keep in mind there is a difference between a mistake and malfeasance.
When you ask yourself What’s Important Now? and What’s the right thing to do? it will become clear that it is easier to “Fix it now.” and course correct early than it is to wait and hope it will resolve itself and get better.
Remember that leadership is a choice and a journey, and it starts with you. Choose well, keep learning, and enjoy the journey.
Register yourself, and your team for the Dare to Be Great: Strategies for Creating a Culture of Leading online workshop to get everyone on the same page regarding leadership and culture. If you are interested in hosting a live Dare to Be Great workshop reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.