Today, I had a discussion with a subordinate about his inappropriate e-mail communication. He works for one fo my peers and does not report directly to me, but he is a salaried subordinate in the company chain of command. I was amazed at his complete non-chalance about his communication, his total lack of respect, and his continued insistance that he did nothing wrong.
The details are immaterial. The demise of respect is the topic here.
In this fast-paced, stressful, hectic world, many people justify their transgressions by the transgressions of everyone else: "He did it, why shouldn't I?" "He dosen't treat me with respect, why should I treat him with respect?"
Remember Mom or Dad saying "if everyone else jumped off the bridge, would you?" Every day weak and unprincipled people jump off that bridge of appropriate behavior and into the troubled waters of disrespect, arrogance, and ineffectiveness. Those turbulent tides lead right over "Failure Falls."
Someone once said "when the accepted minimum becomes your CHOSEN maximum, the product of your life is mediocrity." How true this is. If you are only willing to give what you get in return, you will be a sheep, not a shepherd; not a leader of any type.
Bottom line: Establish your own high personal standards and stick with them, regardless of anyone else's behaviors.
Stay on the bridge.