“The wheel that does the squeaking is the one that gets the grease.”
Josh Billings (1818 – 1885)
It’s a natural human tendency to seek the path of least resistance. For executives, managers, and supervisors, this practice translates into assigning the difficult and emergent work activities to top performers, diverting work away from under-performers, and avoiding employee confrontations. The latter action erodes accountability. Leaders who do not address the shortcomings of under-performers including the provision of overly positive (even if neutral) feedback and unearned rewards (relative to top performers) loudly proclaim the merits of non-performance. Continued high performance and retention of top talent reinforces these errant practices until one day the lack of accountability drives the company’s best employees to a competitor’s business.
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