When we approach a problem or decision, a strategy or action; “do the right thing” is something that rings in our hearts and even in our mission statements. So, how do we know what the right thing to do is?
When it serves others, considers their needs, or blesses them in some way …. even if it’s not the most favorable thing for us.
That’s it. That’s the checklist!
So much has been said and written about a win/win agreement that it’s become part of our culture.
But it’s not about win/win. The search for win/win has been a losing goal. It is the search for compromise. And compromise has rarely been compromise. More often than not, compromise really means someone reluctantly gives up something they desired or needed. One side gives up more than the other. Rarely has there been an equal balance on both sides.
This is why political agreements are rarely win/win.
A sales situation is rarely a win/win.
An employee negotiation is rarely a win/win.
Servant Leaders do not look for or insist on a win/win. Rather, a Servant Leader looks for what’s in the best interest of someone they are serving. It could be their customer or neighbor, employee or teammate, friends or family.
Some sinical person (or company) could say: “Sure, giving our product away would be in their best interest and then we’d go broke!” True. But we don’t have to go to that extreme.
However, the right thing to do often involves sacrifice.
If the question is asked, “what’s the right thing to do?” then, there is usually a situation involving a dilemma of some sort; a decision of action—or sacrifice.
- Do I help this person even if I don’t like her?
- Do I give the customer a refund because they weren’t happy with our product or service?
- Do I stay late so I can help my teammates finish?
- Do I go beyond what I “have to do” so that my customer can receive their product on time? Do I make an extra effort?
- Do I break standard procedures so that they can receive something faster or more to their liking?
And here’s the answer: yes—if it’s doable, and affordable.
But before you say “it’s not affordable” you must understand, there are hidden gains you won’t see in going against standard procedure or going out of your way.
- A relationship is healed
- A customer knows you care
- A teammate feels like a real teammate because you’re there
- A customer experiences sacrificial service and becomes a raving fan
All in all, doing the right thing is a matter of one human serving another human. Being a Servant Leader is always the right thing to do.