Baby on Board
The other day, an SUV passed me on the highway at a high rate of speed. The vehicle wove in and out of traffic in a dangerous and erratic manner, making me wonder if they were being chased.
Scenes like this are all too common on the highways with motorists behaving as if their personal mission in life is to somehow beat everyone else…even if only by a few car lengths.
I don’t know if this vehicle’s driver was in distress, facing some type of emergency situation, or trying to qualify for the stock car circuit. However, what I do know is their rear window sported a large yellow “Baby on Board” sign.
To be fair, it’s not like those ubiquitous “Baby on Board” tags carry a specific meaning that’s tested during the driver’s license exam. Still, the implication is that an actual baby is in the vehicle, so you should drive cautiously. This begs the question: If the prior statement is true, doesn’t the same maxim apply to the driver of the vehicle?
Is Your Organization Driving With Care?
Often, there’s a great deal of conflict between what we say and what we do. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in organizations where leadership says one thing while the organizational culture exudes something else entirely.
Statements like “We’re all about our people“ and “We’re a family” are casually tossed aside when those principles become impediments to “X.” (Feel free to populate “X” with the scenario of your choice.) Published core values like “Integrity” hang on the wall whilst sales teams are charged with closing deals at any cost.
What we do matters even more than what we say. And, despite the retrograded state of our political system, true integrity and alignment of thought and action within your organization matter now more than ever. That’s because everyone is watching. All the time. If you don’t have meaningful core values that align with your words and deeds, then your best people have either already left or are in the process of leaving.
The world of work has changed and employees (rightfully) demand more from their organizations than simply a paycheck. Meeting their monetary needs is mere table stakes, and I encourage you as a leader to dig a bit deeper.
Finally, if you remember nothing else, remember this: Baby on board.