Masks and Standards

Jan 14, 2022

Masks and the wearing of masks are showing us a major lesson on how we handle and hold standards on our teams.

Share this illustration with your players, because it’ll resonate and make perfect sense for them.

You walk into a facility that is requiring all individuals to wear a mask.  There are many individuals who walk into the facility and immediately start surveying the situation to gauge how “strict” they are upholding the rule.  As we look around, the moment we begin to see others with their mask under their nose, we loosen ours up as well.

If we look around and begin to see others wearing masks at their chin, and getting away with it, we think to ourselves, “ok, they aren’t that strict on it here.”  I don’t really need to wear it.  So we begin to slowly lower our mask as well.

Eventually, the place that is requiring masks, now sees most of the people barely wearing it at all.

This dynamic is how the standards we look to uphold on our teams begin to play out as well.  Players know the standard but we don’t always want to live to the standard.  So they begin to survey to see if the standard is being held or not.  They look to their right and see someone under the standard and getting away with it, so they think “if he’s doing it, then I can too.”

Then we look to our left and if they’re cutting corners too, we view it as “permission” to begin doing the same.

Before you know it, in the same way we go from wearing masks correctly to no one wearing masks properly, we can go from everyone living up to the standard to now everyone falling short.

People are constantly looking to see how much they can get away with and how far they can push things.

But even in a setting where everyone begins relaxing on a mask rule, there will be people continuing to wear their mask properly, whether others are or not.  Same on our teams. There will be some players who continue to operate according to the standards even while others are not.  But that number will become less and less.  “I feel like I’m the only doing it, what’s the point,” is the point many players begin to feel when they’re operating to a standard no one else seems to care about.

So how does a place that requires everyone to wear a mask eventually get to the point where no one is wearing it properly or barely wearing it all?  It happens little by little, one person at a time, with everyone slowing following suit.

How does a team that requires everyone to live to a standard eventually get to the point where no one is living according to it at all?  It happens little by little, one person at a time, with everyone slowing following suit.

If you don’t want your team to slip, you better fight every day to hold the standard, or you’ll slowly see the standard disappear.

We want to provide you a tool to keep your players engaged, growing as leaders and continuing to feel connected to their team/teammates; The 21-Day Leadership Playbook. 


This FREE 21-Day Leadership Playbook is filled with various Lead ‘Em Up exercises, uniquely modified for players to do on their own, as part of a team-wide exercise.

Download your free copy right here! 

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