The Choices We Make Today Could Well Be Creating A Rod For Our Own Backs…

Many years ago in the health and fitness industry I heard physician Dr Jack Pfeiffer say this:

“If you smoke, I don’t care how many vitamins and supplements you take… it doesn’t matter. Nothing will negate the effect that smoking has on your body.”

I also remember Australian Rugby Union coach Alan Jones saying that if he had to choose between a smoker with talent and a non-smoker with less talent for one position on his team, he would choose the non-smoker because the non-smoker has made a commitment to himself to be as good as he can possibly be, while the smoker, by virtue of the fact they are a smoker,  has chosen not to make that commitment.

The reason I write this comment is this:

The reason I write this comment is because as a coach of small businesses, I am often confronted by business owners who choose to ignore some negative signals being sent by employees who choose to behave or “act” in a manner that is outside of the goals and the culture that the business, and the team, are striving to achieve.

The classic example of this is the employee who is an over achiever but behaves in a manner that is NOT CONGRUENT with the goals and the culture that the organisation, and other team members, are striving to uphold.

And this incongruence then creates a resentful disruption within the organisation…

A disruption because team members and management soon realise that there is an internal turmoil being created in the organisation when all team members are visibly not singing from the same hymn book.

And this disruption then becomes a concern for those team members who are seen to be MAKING A CONSIDERABLE EFFORT and are doing the right thing and are behaving in the way expected of them by the business owner. These model team members will be held up as THE STANDARD that other team members will be judged by….

When you go to the gym…

When you go to the gym, you need to build muscle on all parts of the body, because you need to look symmetrical.

You can’t just train biceps and chest, and not train legs and shoulders and back… because if you do that, you will look ridiculous.

As a body builder, your training regimen needs to be complete.

No body part should be neglected.

In your business, you can’t ignore behaviours from team members that COMPROMISE the integrity that the business owner is striving to establish as the NEW NORMAL.

The NEW NORMAL is that as business owners, we need to be creating the behaviours in our business and in our employees that we are desirous of, and we need to incentivise and reward those employees whose behaviours personify that CULTURE that we are striving hard to create.

In fitness…

In fitness, you cannot ignore the fact that smoking cigarettes has a detrimental effect on all other activities a person chooses to perform in an effort to become fit and stay fit.

The act of smoking makes all other fitness activities pointless.

To be fit, you need to eliminate those activities that detract from your final goal of fitness.

In the same way, ignoring the behaviours of some dental practice team members that white-ant the culture and the philosophies we know are achievable, is not good business practice.

Sometimes these team members can see the errors of their ways, and can reform.

But in other times, the negative behaviours that are incongruous with the business’s goals and philosophies need to be surgically removed from the business, along with the source of those behaviours [the perpetrator] as well.

Sadly in some instances, some business owners regrettably hang on to recalcitrant team members far longer than they logically should.

Mark my words:

For some reason, recalcitrant team members often stay on far longer than they should, as if it is their God Given Right to do so.

When they should have departed the business earlier.

A dentist I know continued to employ a recalcitrant team member for more than ten years longer than he should have. And all this was despite the fact that friends, colleagues, and patients had offered advice about moving that team member on…

When he finally terminated this employee, his advice to others was this:

“I should have done it sooner.”

When I gave up smoking:

When I gave up smoking 40 years ago after being a smoker for six years, my biggest regret was that I wished I’d never smoked in the first place, and my second biggest regret was the fact that I’d smoked for as long as I had done, before I gave it up.

There is no logical reason for engaging in acts of self-harm.

Ignoring warning signs and justifying decisions that create mental anguish are also, acts of self-harm.

And should be eliminated.


And ideally, should be avoided in the first place.


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