“Imitation is the greatest form of flattery”. I’m sure you’ve heard that quote before. In addition to flattery, imitation can also quite embarrassing. Ever have a child repeat something you said that you thought was private? Think about it, you perform a job or task with a great deal of success and all of sudden you can see others picking up on your ideas, copying them and attempting to duplicate the success. I’ve heard leaders talk about visiting other great organizations in order to see what they are doing. When people try to duplicate what you’re doing you can be sure that you’re on to something and most likely seeing great success.
There’s another side of imitation, a dark side. This type of imitation is when a leader, a manager or an influential employee engages in activities that are detrimental to the organization and at the same time causing other employees to imitate this activity. These activities could be things like having the meeting after the meeting where a manager or employee tears down what was agreed to in the meeting. It could be something as simple as basic gossip. It could be never attempting to develop advocates or consistently coming to work with a bad attitude.
Here’s the main point… your company has laid out specific expectations. Your attitude towards these expectations and your commitment to exceeding them OR your complete indifference to them will be imitated. Regardless of what you do, someone will imitate you. Make sure the imitation is flattering and not embarrassing. As the title says, Human See, Human Do.