There’s been a lot of stuff happening at work for me and stuff’s been going well. When I try to figure out why some things worked out and other things didn’t, one thing seems to stand out: Principles.
Now, many people I know think that principles or standards or ethics or whatever you want to call them are a ‘cute’ or idealistic idea that you can adopt when it’s convenient.
Usually, this happens with a sly remark like “This is India” or “You have your rules and I have mine.”
Apparently, when real people do real work, there’s no time for such old fashioned ideas from fairy tales.
That pisses me off, man. Big time.
I believe that without standards, at the first available chance, we’d take a shortcut. And then another. And then another – leading to a race to the bottom. The stuff that comes out is poor and nobody’s the winner.
This logic applies whether you’re helping clients, selling stuff, writing code, making websites setting up automation systems or whatever.
I believe that when we set out to do real work – the work that matters, we CANNOT afford to settle for good enough. We need to be the best we can be and we need to have principles and standards and ethics in place.
Yes, it make things more difficult. Yes, it makes stuff more costly. Yes, it takes more time and patience to get things done.
But, the results are worth it.
Try a different kind of time shift experiment: Set your standards when there’s no pressure. Set them now. Set them before you start your project. And when the time comes, stand by your principles.
Draw that line and don’t cross it.
Because, remember: The results are worth it.
Note 1: Don’t settle when you’re defining your principles. Make sure that they stretch you. Otherwise, you don’t grow.
Note 2: Yes, you could always say that “I want to be an asshole.” is your defining principle. Ok. That’s a dumb idea. Don’t do it. Be nice.