Take a minute to ask yourself this question. Are you a thermostat or a thermometer?

The Difference

A thermometer tells you the temperature in the room; it reacts to the environment around it. A thermostat sets the temperature of a room; it regulates an environment.

Thermometer leaders consistently react to the situations and conditions they confront. Their reaction is often driven by the environment that’s created for them rather than one they define.

Thermostat leaders regulate their business environment and don’t settle for less than defined best practices. It’s uncommon for a thermostat leader to compromise the standards that they’ve established for themselves.

5 Compromises You Should Never Make When it Comes to Workplace Excellence

As a leader, setting the temperature of your environment begins with understanding the climate you want to create. Here are five factors that thermostat leaders regulate continually.

  1. The Hiring Process
    My belief is that people are the foundation of your business. That being said, why is it that so many leaders fail to connect the hiring/selection process to their business in a meaningful manner? Belief in their “gut feel” creates a compromise that is problematic at best and catastrophic in a worst-case scenario.  A best practice option is to take a balanced approach that considers both the subjective factors (gut, experience, and likeability) and the objective factors (behaviors, driving forces, competencies, and capacity) related to hiring ideal candidates. You may want to check out the recent Thoughtwave on selection fatigue.
  2. Safety
    Nobody wants to go home differently than they came to work as a result of a workplace injury. That’s why best practices related to creating a safe work environment must be clearly defined and enforced relentlessly with consistency. Easy to say and far harder to ensure, if best practices regarding safety are allowed to go undefined or be compromised regularly. Non-negotiable would be the term that best describes the required attitude by leaders related to applying the best practices of safety in their organization.
  3. Personal Standards
    There’s a difference between a compromise that’s mutual and compromising your standards simply to make someone else feel comfortable. Defining personal standards is a choice. Leading from those standards is about defining a set of personal best practices. How others feel about those standards is largely irrelevant as long as they aren’t destructive to you, others or your company. Mediocrity, in the form of people who want you to lower or abandon your standards, has a way of trying to chip away and erode what they may feel is too demanding or intense for them individually. Let me be clear. This is not your problem to resolve.
  4. A Culture of Communication
    Awareness is a powerful ally of excellence. Communication is a foundational element of awareness. Defining an environment where the two go hand-in-hand sets the tone for better insights, interaction, and decisions. The impact to a defined standard comes in the form of optimized results. These are the most effective results possible and the factor that establishes impact and differentiation is communication.
  5. Personal Accountability
    Being answerable for your individual actions sets the leadership temperature for your team. It’s about being willing to take ownership and accept personal responsibility for the outcomes. This begins with the ability to proactively self-evaluate every aspect of your leadership and see new possibilities by examining your personal approach. Thermostat leaders define their successes and mistakes and make them a part of their leadership progression and evolution.

Final Thought           

As you go through the week, think about whether you set the temperature or tell the temperature.

Be Authentic. Be Purposeful. Make it Meaningful.


P.S. Are there any other factors you would add to the list to ensure workplace excellence? Let me know in the comments.