What Are Your Non-Negotiables?

Street line

We talk a lot about non-negotiables with our clients and inside our own organization. When a leader is clear on their non-negotiables, they are able to better work toward the culture they desire, develop their people, and have critical conversations.

Why do non-negotiables touch each of these topics?

When we know what standards we will not negotiate on, blurred lines become clear. We know what behaviors and habits we want to encourage, and which ones we will not tolerate. We are able coach our people on what expectations we have for their performance and our vision for their future within our organization.

This week I had the opportunity to teach a webinar on how to have critical conversations. In that webinar, I talked a bit about non-negotiables, and one attendee asked me to share some examples of non-negotiables.

Here are a few of the non-negotiables for the leaders inside my organization:

  • Growth is a must. Our teammates must be willing to learn and grow as professionals and also grow as leaders (at any level). Two years ago our theme was Grow and/or Go – you could choose to grow and go forward and up in the company, or you could choose to not grow and simply go. Most of our employees chose growth! 
  • Positivity is essential. We are committed to and believe in what we do every day, and we don’t have any room for bad attitudes. Sure, everyone is allowed to have a bad day. But our mindset and our approach to our work is to be positive and, maybe more importantly, to be grateful, even in the midst of adversity.
  • A desire to serve is vital. I can teach someone how to sell or how to coach, and I can teach leadership and staffing, but what I cannot instill in someone is desire to serve others. That’s something employees must find within themselves.
  • We work as a team. We win and we lose as a team. We are united, and we never throw a teammate under the bus.
  • It’s everyone’s responsibility to steward the culture. Sometimes that means holding each other (even our peers) accountable, and it is safe to do so.

These non-negotiables help me teach my leaders what I value most and what I need from them as they lead. They help me stand firm when having critical conversations because we just don’t budge on our non-negotiables. And most importantly, they help our organization build and protect the culture we want to create.

What are your non-negotiables?

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