I’ve always believed it comes from the top. The board or its equivalent. Set a bad example and you give your more junior people leaders licence to copy you. On the weekend, I witnessed a sad but true endorsing example.
You may recall that last November I was talking about an experience in my local coffee shop of the store manager belittling a member of her staff in front of a client. Me.
Well, yesterday, in the same shop, I stood at the counter, ordering a couple of Americanos, as the franchise owner questioned one of the store’s supervisors on something she hadn’t done.
“Why is the sign board not out on the pavement?”
“I tried to put it up when I put the tables and chairs out first thing, but it kept blowing down.”
If you live in the South East of England, you’ll appreciate it was both windy and rainy yesterday morning. Understatement.
“The sign board should be out.”
“I know that, Paul, but I reckoned it was a safety hazard. It’s blowing a gale out there.”
Paul harrumphs, marches to the front of the shop, and puts the offending board out on the pavement anyway. The supervisor meets my eyes in a WTF kind of way and gets on with making my coffee.
I take my coffee and me and my man sit and watch as the board gets blown down several times, being rescued by kindly passers by. We wonder whose insurance is going to pay out if the board blows into one of the cars parked on the road right beside it.
Paul disappears as the Sunday morning coffee traffic picks up. Eventually the supervisor reasserts her own good judgement and brings the board inside the shop.
I did giggle about this. But I do think it’s just a little crazy.
What do you think?