Lt. General Morrison gave a short but powerful speech  in which he strongly condemns aggression against women. His statement “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept” became golden words and inspired many. Morrison’s words serve to awake the sleeping conscience of the leaders and higher authorities specifically and everyone else’s in general. This powerful quote is applicable in all walks of life, including the business world where it gives the following lessons:

The Leader is Responsible:

It is the responsibility of the leader to take care of everyone and to eliminate any kind of discrimination. Things can change, justice can prevail, and standards can be modified if the leadership is in the hands of a strong person. Whether it is politics, business workplace, or any organization, it is the responsibility of a leader to be able to stand up for any injustice or inequality and say that “This is not acceptable”. He should be bold enough to make changes and ensure that no one is being denied of any opportunity. A leader should be able to take action when something isn’t working weather that be for performance or if someone left the staff room in a mess. Accepting low standards is not good enough.

Everyone should take a stand :

Any time you accept poor treatment at workplace, or of the workplace, for yourself or for anyone, you are accepting that this standard is fine. You see your manager doing injustice with your colleague and you stay quiet; that means you are accepting it. Sooner or later you will be adversely affected if anyone around you is being treated badly because it will create a culture where poor treatment is acceptable. Rather than becoming observers, we should voice our opinion about what needs to be changed.

I was coaching a General Manager a while back, he was showing me round the warehouse at his depot. There were people around the busy warehouse getting on with their jobs and he was introducing me to a few different people as we went. As we got close to the office there was a bin that had been knocked on it’s side and the rubbish had spilled out on to the floor. The General Manager walked up and stepped over the rubbish and continued on to the office. I stopped, bent down and started to pick up the rubbish and put it back in the bin, he turned when he realised I was no longer with him. When he saw me he asked “What are you doing?”, I thought it was quite obvious…

Walking past the rubbish showed to everyone in that warehouse that he accepted that it was ok. No one in the warehouse was ever going to move the rubbish when the most senior person there was happy for it to look like that. What does it say about the company standards?

This is what we should do every day, in any decision we make, whether big or small. If we really need to improve the culture of a business or reputation, we need to look to be better; we need to change the standards we accept.