Principle vs Policy/Procedure


Maybe I am an idealist.
But when policy or procedures are not in alignment with the underlying Principle of a business, venture, or lifestyle then we have a disconnect.

Maybe I am an idealist.
But when policy or procedures are not in alignment with the underlying Principle of a business, venture, or lifestyle then we have a disconnect.
We see it in many walks of life. Why should we have to break the law, or ignore a policy to do the ‘right” thing. I have a healthy disregard for the impossible. It can’t be done? Why? Money or time constraints. Ok, it may take more time and more creativity. And perhaps it may take more money. We may need a healthy ROI to do it. I understand that. However, do we really want people, or ourselves, having to challenge policy in order to do the right thing? I think not.
HPIM1812.JPGWhen I ski, I think

“Broken Window Theory”
In Malcom Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point and later recounted in Rudolph Guliani’s book, Leadership there is a story of the cleaning up of the city and the subway’s of New York. Fascinating. The Principle – Allow residents and visitors feel safe while living in and visiting New York.
Policy – Increase the policing of petty crime (subway fare jumpers and panhandlers). Create the policies to allow police officers the ability to “chaingang” to fare jumpers, rather than haul each one individually). Other major criminals see the petty criminals and decide this is not the right time to break the law.
Policy – Address the “Broken Window Theory”. Immediately clean all subways and subway cars. If a subway car has graffiti, immediately take it out of service and remove the graffiti.
The basic idea here is, “Does the “Policy” align with principle?” In this case, yes.
Perhaps that is why Rudy Guilianni and Ronald Reagan were so popular. Whether you liked either of them or not, their policies aligned with their principles. It was simple, a matter of integrity.
In my own life, I frequently re-evaluate the policies I live by. Do they align with what I believe in? Do they align with what my core mission is? My MIssion – Help people play the music contained in their souls.

I will wake up in the morning and read or think
Have you ever caught yourself saying something to your friends, children, or spouse that sounded like your parents? Did it catch you by surprise? Perhaps you caught yourself saying, “I don’t even believe that?” If so, you ran into an the situation of your Policies not aligning with your Principles. Good news, under most circumstances you can create new policies for yourself.
Now, what if your Principles are flawed? I often coach individuals in my PrePaid Legal business. If they are not experiencing success in their business or other aspects of their life, and they don’t want to alter a philosophy, I ask them, “Well how has that been working for you?”
Usually, if the answer is, “It’s not”‘ or “”Not very well”. It is then where we move deeper into empowering or disempowering philosophies. The changing of philosophies can be a time consuming, yet worthwhile project. A few business books that may be worth your time are Good to Great by Jim Collins, and Leadership and Self-deception by The Arbinger Institute. These books are two sides of the same coin. You, as a leader of your own life.
And a final recommendation, a video that I find intriguing. The Secret. What is the law of attraction? Your principles and policies attract what you have in, and what are coming in your life. Do more of what makes you feel good, do less of what makes you feel bad. Simple.
I feel very blessed. I am grateful for those who have come through my life and have touched me in some way. I recognize I have much to improve upon, and whatever manifests in my life I am the one who has brought it to myself. The question always remains, “Is this what I want in my life?” If not, what principles or policies must I alter? and, are they in alignment? The quest may never end, and that is ok with me.
to your success,

2 thoughts on “Principle vs Policy/Procedure”

  1. Thanks for that tidbit of philosophy, Jon. I too, as you know, watch what I do and the results my actions bring me. And you’re right, when someone’s actions are not in line with what they are saying, we can detect it immediately.
    Thanks for this opportunity to think about what I’ve been doing lately, and what that’s bringing me. I can always use some advice. I hadn’t heard of the “Broken Window” theory (or not thought about it much after reading The Tipping Point), but I really understand now how it can affect even website environments. And of course, resort towns and ski areas, too.
    Vail Resorts’ Management showed their willing ness to fix the windows and remove the grafitti by meeting with you about your website rants. Good on them.

  2. Often it takes an outside observer to point out the things happening that you are missing. I am on my fifth major business venture (and three of the first four have failed to meet my expectations). An Entrepreneur always is an optomist and can let that optimism hide critical flaws in their planning. I always want input to help me think and reason better. Good decision making requires good listening, not good thinking. The answers are always there in front of you. You don’t have to invent the wheel, you just need to surround yourself with good people. I never appologize or make excuses for my failures or shortcomings (except to my wife and then it us nothing but excuses). When you fail, acknowledge it, learn from it, and share the lessons with others.
    I am glad that folks are listening to you. I have had tons of situations at work where most of the folks were too intimidated to share their feelings when they thought something was wrong. I am one who speaks up. If the company I work at isn’t doing things the right way, I either need to correct things or find an exit strategy. I ain’t investing in Enron’s 401k plan. Most times, their response to you suggestions shows you whether the company is going the right direction or not. And if not, it is time to either speak out louder or move on.

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