berkus_ventures_300ppi copy


You are watched more closely than you think.

Ever had a manager above you who said one thing and did another?  At least once?  Or in a pattern of repeats?  Well, you’re not alone.  Did you think less of that person for it?  Would you follow that manager to the ends of the earth?  Well, almost everyone has had multiple such experiences with a senior manager.  And most people think less of that person than before.

On the other hand, think of the professional you most admire.  Do you know of any times that person has made promises to you and missed on delivering them?  The difference comes down to trust and respect.  We lose both when we catch someone, especially 2014-0329_OxyTEDx-0276someone above us, acting differently than his or her self-proclaimed rules, or even violating company rules.

[Email readers continue here…] It is one of the most vital elements of good management – restraining oneself when rank would ordinarily grant special privilege, and instead acting as one would expect a subordinate to act.

Black and white examples include taking supplies home, using company time to perform personal duties (if not permitted), and even traveling business class at company expense on short trips.  Larger and more important examples involve direct promises that are broken, such as review dates with implied raises, or promised follow-through on an issue of great urgency to person receiving the promise.

Everything you do as a manager is watched by one or many.  The very culture of the enterprise is shaken when someone in power gets away with bending or breaking the rules expected to be adhered to by all.  Why have rules, or a company handbook, or new employee orientation sessions if the actions don’t match the words?

And once violated, it is almost impossible to retract the action.  That should make us think twice before taking small liberties.

  • Beverly McCabe

    As with all matters Dave Berkus is right. When he speaks about looking up to someone and respecting them, I’ve know Dave for about 25 years and he a shining example of how to do the right thing! You are watched more closely than you think.

  • Really great reminder for all of us – thank you!

  • Larry Hall

    Dave, excellent point! One of my early mentors once told me once as a CEO, I needed to watch the pace with which I walked the floor. Walking too fast and appearing in a hurry can make people anxious. A measured, confident pace represents the best way to walk the floor. I have never forgotten this advice and practice it to this day. So, yes, “watched closely” applies to many aspects of the life of a CEO.

    Keep up the blogs. I do enjoy reading them.

    All the best,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Sign up for
Dave's weekly emails

Most Recent Posts